Sternalis Muscle

  • Athanasios RaikosEmail author
  • Panagiota Kordali


Sternalis muscle is a supernumerary muscle of the anterior chest wall. It is found anteriorly to pectoralis major and usually courses parasternally to the sternum. It has variable origin from the upper sternum and pectoral region; similarly it has variable insertion to the lower sternum, pectoral region, ribs, and rectus abdominis sheath. Sternalis muscle usually does not employ any clinical symptoms and can be found incidentally in mammograms, Computed Tomograms and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans. However, the muscle has clinical and surgical significance as it may misinterpreted as tumor and other pathologies of the breast in mammograms stressing the patient to undertake unnecessary further diagnostic procedures such as fine-needle aspiration and core biopsy aiding differential diagnosis. Due to its superficial position, the muscle can be used, when present, as a pedicle flap for reconstructive surgery of the head, neck, chest and breast. Moreover, sternalis muscle has been correlated with chest and breast asymmetry and alterations in electrocardiograms.


Anterior thoracic wall Breast surgery Mammography Pectoralis major Plastic reconstruction Sternalis muscle 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences and MedicineBond University, University Drive, Varsity LakesGold CoastAustralia

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