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Suprasternal notch

Bone: Suprasternal notch
Suprasternal notch
Anterolateral view of head and neck. (Jugular notch labeled at bottom center.)
Latin fossa jugularis sterni
Gray's subject #27 120
Dorlands/Elsevier i_05/12447398

The suprasternal notch (fossa jugularis sternalis), also known as the jugular notch, is part of human anatomy. It is the large, visible dip where the clavicles joins the sternum.


Anatomical location

The suprasternal notch is found at the superior border of the manubrium of the sternum, between the clavicular notches.

Evaluative tests using the suprasternal notch

Intrathoracic pressure is measured by using a transducer held in such a way over the body that an actuator engages the soft tissue that is located above the suprasternal notch.

Arcot J. Chandrasekhar, MD, FRCP, FACP, FCCP of Loyola University, Chicago, is the author of an evaluative test for the aorta using the suprasternal notch.[1] The test can help to recognise the following conditions:

To carry out this test it is necessary to place an index finger or middle finger on the notch and palpate it. In a young normal person there should be no palpable pulse. A prominent pulse may be indicative of an uncoiled aorta,arch aneurysm, or a tortuous blood vessel. The most likely cause of a suprasternal pulse in an adult is an aortic arch aneurysm, while the most likely cause in a child is coarctation of the aorta.

As a zone of eroticism.


The suprasternal notch or well is seen as a point of attraction by many men and women, most famously indicated in the book and film "The English Patient" (book written by Michael Ondaatje, film directed by Anthony Minghella). Much of the novel and film is a testament to the symbolic nature of the female shape, but there is a distinct moment in the film when Count Laszlo de Almásy is waxing lyrical about Katharine Clifton's suprasternal notch. He is ignorant of its name and proclaims it to be the "Almásy Bosphorus." In the novel, Almasy and Katharine simply call this feature the "Bosphorus." He is later informed by a friend of its more prosaic name. In the film, the correct term is given, "the suprasternal notch." In the novel, however, Ondaatje gives an incorrect and entirely whimsical name, "the vascular sizood," to this feature.

The suprasternal notch can be highlighted subtly by women wearing such pendants or necklaces which rest in that area, to aid the focus of a man to rest subliminally on a part of the body that can be considered an erotic or sensual zone. In this way, the notch is more understated in exhibiting femininity than the usual areas (legs, chest, hips etc.) and is considered an erogenous zone.


  1. ^ MedEd at Loyola MEDICINE/PULMONAR/PD/pstep37a.htm - Evaluative tests using the suprasternal notch
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Suprasternal_notch". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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