Sternalis muscle

Athanasios Raikos*, Panagiota Kordali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sternalis muscle is an aberrant muscle found on
the anterior thoracic wall. The muscle is well
known to anatomists but not very familiar to clinicians such as surgeons and radiologists.
Furthermore, medical students and doctors in
training are also unfamiliar with the entity as it is
not included in standard medical textbooks [1–4].
The muscle is of interest to researchers for more
than 400 years and attracted lots of controversy
on its embryological origin, terminology, and
function. The first description on the muscle was
from Cabrol in 1604 in his book “Alphabeton
anatomikon”. Much later, in 1726, Du Puy as
stated by Turner, provided a detailed description
of a bilateral example of sternalis muscle and
supported that the muscle is a phylogenetic remnant carried over from other primates [5].
Sternalis muscle is one of the most variably
termed anatomic variants with at least 21 different synonyms found in the literature as can be
seen in Table 4.1. The common term for the muscle nowadays is sternalis and comes from its nonstandard attachment and parallel arrangement
with the sternum. In many cases the muscle’s origin and insertion in not related to the sternum at
all but it is still called sternalis for ease of communication. Christian supported that the term
sternalis is very general and should be used only
for parasternal muscles related to pectoralis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChest Wall Deformities
EditorsAmulya K. Saxena
Place of Publication Berlin, Heidelberg
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783662530887
ISBN (Print)9783662530863
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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