Anatomical hierarchy

General Anatomy > Muscles; Muscular system > Muscles of thorax > Transversus thoracis



Origin: Costal cartilages of last 3-4 ribs, body of sternum, xiphoid process

Insertion: Ribs/costal cartilages 2-6

Artery: Intercostal arteries

Nerve: Intercostal nerves

Action: Depresses ribs

The Transversus thoracis (Triangularis sterni) is a thin plane of muscular and tendinous fibers, situated upon the inner surface of the front wall of the chest. It arises on either side from the lower third of the posterior surface of the body of the sternum, from the posterior surface of the xiphoid process, and from the sternal ends of the costal cartilages of the lower three or four true ribs. Its fibers diverge upward and lateralward, to be inserted by slips into the lower borders and inner surfaces of the costal cartilages of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs. The lowest fibers of this muscle are horizontal in their direction, and are continuous with those of the Transversus abdominis; the intermediate fibers are oblique, while the highest are almost vertical. This muscle varies in its attachments, not only in different subjects, but on opposite sides of the same subject.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from


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