Intercostal groove/spaces Watch

tissues1234
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Hi everyone,

I have a question on anatomy that I want to clear up:

Do parasympathetic fibres run the intercostal spaces in the thorax?

I know that sympathetic and normal spinal nerves do.

Thanks!
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AortaStudyMore
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I'm pretty sure neither sympathetic nerves or parasympathetic nerves run along the intercostal groove, think about it, why would they need to! Intercostal muscles are skeletal muscle and are under voluntary control, and there's nothing else in that region that would need autonomic control. So it'll just be somatic nerves in the intercostal groove (sensory and motor)
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alkyone
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Just in addition to what aorta said: autonomic NS nerves for breathing supply the diaphragm and the visceral pleura. The phrenic nerve has sympathetic fibres and the vagus parasympathetic, and they both pass through the mediastinum. These are the major ones I know about, don't know if there is more that I am not aware of though.
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tissues1234
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(Original post by AortaStudyMore)
I'm pretty sure neither sympathetic nerves or parasympathetic nerves run along the intercostal groove, think about it, why would they need to! Intercostal muscles are skeletal muscle and are under voluntary control, and there's nothing else in that region that would need autonomic control. So it'll just be somatic nerves in the intercostal groove (sensory and motor)
Sorry!

What i meant was intercostal spaces.

So where actually do the post-gang. autonomic nerves actually run in the thorax (to innervate blood vessels and sweat glands for example)?
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AortaStudyMore
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(Original post by tissues1234)
Sorry!

What i meant was intercostal spaces.

So where actually do the post-gang. autonomic nerves actually run in the thorax (to innervate blood vessels and sweat glands for example)?
Hmm, my anatomy isn't great, but basically, your sympathetic ganglia are located in a sympathetic trunk which runs next to the vertebral column. The post ganglionic fibres will then go via the grey ramus communicans back into the spinal nerve before travelling into the dorsal or ventral ramus. These nerves will then join one of the many thoracic plexi (cardiac plexus, pulmonary plexus, thoracic aortic plexus) and then the plexi will form peripheral nerves which will carry the post ganglionic fibres to the target organs, such as blood vessels, sweat glands etc.

Btw, when you said intercostal spaces, are you sure you didn't mean thoracic cavity? :P Intercostal spaces are the spaces between ribs, and again, I don't think autonomic fibres go there
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antonyzac
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Just a note - parasympathetic fibres don't innervate most blood vessels and sweat glands. That's solely controlled by the sympathetic nervous system in most cases, and so parasympathetics shouldn't be found in the intercostal spaces, especially when the outflow to the intercostal spaces is from the thoracic section of the spinal cord. Parasympathetic nerves have a cranio-sacral outflow.
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AortaStudyMore
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(Original post by antonyzac)
Just a note - parasympathetic fibres don't innervate most blood vessels and sweat glands. That's solely controlled by the sympathetic nervous system in most cases, and so parasympathetics shouldn't be found in the intercostal spaces, especially when the outflow to the intercostal spaces is from the thoracic section of the spinal cord. Parasympathetic nerves have a cervical-sacral outflow.
Surely you mean craniosacral outflow :P
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antonyzac
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(Original post by AortaStudyMore)
Surely you mean craniosacral outflow :P
Haha woops! That's the right one Thanks!
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tissues1234
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(Original post by AortaStudyMore)
Hmm, my anatomy isn't great, but basically, your sympathetic ganglia are located in a sympathetic trunk which runs next to the vertebral column. The post ganglionic fibres will then go via the grey ramus communicans back into the spinal nerve before travelling into the dorsal or ventral ramus. These nerves will then join one of the many thoracic plexi (cardiac plexus, pulmonary plexus, thoracic aortic plexus) and then the plexi will form peripheral nerves which will carry the post ganglionic fibres to the target organs, such as blood vessels, sweat glands etc.

Btw, when you said intercostal spaces, are you sure you didn't mean thoracic cavity? :P Intercostal spaces are the spaces between ribs, and again, I don't think autonomic fibres go there
Thanks so much!
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