Sternalis muscle: An underestimated anterior chest wall anatomical variant

Athanasios Raikos*, George K. Paraskevas, Maria Tzika, Pedro Faustmann, Stefanos Triaridis, Panagiota Kordali, Panagiotis Kitsoulis, Beate Brand-Saberi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Over the recent years, an increased alertness for thorough knowledge of anatomical variants with clinical significance has been recorded in order to minimize the risks of surgical complications. We report a rare case of bilateral strap-like sternalis muscle of the anterior chest wall in a female cadaver. Its presence may evoke alterations in the electrocardiogram or confuse a routine mammography. The incidental finding of a sternalis muscle in mammography, CT, and MRI studies must be documented in a patient's medical records as it can be used as a pedicle flap or flap microvascular anastomosis during reconstructive surgery of the anterior chest wall, head and neck, and breast. Moreover, its presence may be misdiagnosed as a wide range of benign and malignant anterior chest wall lesions and tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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