My watch list  

Posterior triangle of the neck

Posterior triangle of the neck
The triangles of the neck. Posterior triangle labeled in purple. Sternocleidomastoideus runs vertically. Occipital triangle labeled at right, and subclavian triangle labeled at bottom.)
Side of neck, showing chief surface markings. (Nerves are yellow, arteries are red.)
Latin regio cervicalis lateralis, trigonum cervicale posterius
Gray's subject #145 563
Dorlands/Elsevier r_07/12700361

The posterior triangle (or lateral cervical region) is a region of the neck.



It has the following boundaries:

its apex

union of the Sternocleidomastoid and the Trapezius muscles at the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone
in front

the posterior border of the Sternocleidomastoideus

the anterior border of the Trapezius
its base

the intermediate third of the clavicle

Occipital and subclavian triangles

The posterior triangle is crossed, about 2.5 cm above the clavicle, by the inferior belly of the Omohyoideus, which divides the space into two triangles:


A) Nerves and Plexuses:

  • Spinal accessory nerve (Cranial Nerve XI)
  • Branches of cervical plexus
  • Roots and trunks of brachial plexus

B) Vessels:

  • Subclavian artery (Third part)
  • Transverse cervical artery
  • Suprascapular artery
  • Terminal part of external jugular vein

C) Lymph Nodes:

  • Occipital
  • Supraclavicular

D) Muscles:

  • Inferior belly of omohyoid muscle

Clinical significance

It is particularly vulnerable to damage at lymph node biopsy, where damage results in an inability to shrug the shoulders or raise the arm above the head (eg, for brushing hair)

See also

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Posterior_triangle_of_the_neck". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE