4.6. Revision Tips

Revision Tips for the Thoracic Arteries

That’s normal – there’s a lot to learn here and it can be intimidating. My advice...take a couple of images (from here or a textbook) and commit them to memory. Test yourself every now and again by labelling the diagrams or drawing them out again. You will almost certainly become better at remembering the exact layout. Plus, if you keep refreshing your memory then your recall time will decrease a lot.

Test yourself
Test yourself and use some of the quizzes available in this app. Also search for quizzes online. Remember that there might be some questions that are not relevant to your study.

Remembering the arterial networks takes commitment and hard work.

The one brachiocephalic artery/trunk
There is only one brachiocephalic artery/trunk in the body. In an exam, don't write about the right or left brachiocephalic artery – this might be marked wrong. Just write “brachiocephalic artery” or “brachiocephalic trunk”. Yes, there are two brachiocephalic veins, but only one brachiocephalic artery.

Remember the position...
The aortic arch lies at the level of the sternal plane. This is a key fact that can help you remember the organisation of the thorax.

Aortic hiatus...
The thoracic aorta passes behind the diaphragm, through the aortic hiatus, at T12. It is then called the abdominal aorta.

Quick question
What is the blood supply of the fourth intercostal space? Answer: The posterior intercostal artery (from the abdominal aorta) and the anterior intercostal artery (from the internal thoracic artery).