|Nerve: Sympathetic trunk
| Abdominal portion of the sympathetic trunk, with the celiac plexus and hypogastric plexus. (Sympathetic trunk labeled at center left.)
| Scheme showing structure of a typical spinal nerve. 1. Somatic efferent. 2. Somatic afferent. 3,4,5. Sympathetic efferent. 6,7. Sympathetic afferent.
|| truncus sympathicus
|| subject #214 976
The sympathetic trunk (sympathetic chain, gangliated cord) is a bundle of nerve fibers that runs from the base of the skull to the coccyx. There are two sympathetic trunks in the body, a right one and a left one.
Additional recommended knowledge
The sympathetic trunk travels inferiorly from the skull, just lateral to the vertebral bodies. It interacts with the spinal nerves or their ventral root by way of rami communicantes.
The superior end of it is continued upward through the carotid canal into the skull, and forms a plexus on the internal carotid artery; the inferior part travels in front of the coccyx, where it converges with the other trunk at a structure known as the ganglion impar.
Along the length of the sympathetic trunk are ganglia known as paravertebral ganglia.
The sympathetic trunk is a fundamental part of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. It allows nerve fibers to travel to spinal nerves that are superior and inferior to the one in which it originated. Also, a number of nerves, such as most of the splanchnic nerves, arise directly from the trunks.
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 As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated.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.
|Nerves - autonomic nervous system (sympathetic nervous system/ganglion/trunks and parasympathetic nervous system/ganglion)|
|Head/cranial||Ciliary ganglion (Short ciliary nerves) - Pterygopalatine ganglion (Nerve of pterygoid canal) - Submandibular ganglion - Otic ganglion|
|Neck/cervical||paravertebral ganglia: Cervical ganglia (Superior, Middle, Inferior) - Stellate ganglion|
prevertebral plexus: Cavernous plexus - Internal carotid
|Chest/thorax||paravertebral ganglia: Thoracic ganglia
prevertebral plexus: Cardiac plexus - Esophageal plexus - Pulmonary plexus - Thoracic aortic plexus
splanchnic nerves: Thoracic splanchnic nerves
cardiac nerves: Superior - Middle - Inferior
|Abdomen/Lumbar||paravertebral ganglia: Lumbar ganglia
prevertebral ganglia: Celiac ganglia (Aorticorenal) - Superior mesenteric ganglion - Inferior mesenteric ganglion
prevertebral plexus: Celiac plexus - (Hepatic, Splenic, Pancreatic) - aorticorenal (Abdominal aortic plexus, Renal/Suprarenal) - Superior mesenteric (Gastric) - Inferior mesenteric (Spermatic, Ovarian) - Superior hypogastric (hypogastric nerve, Superior rectal) - Inferior hypogastric (Vesical, Prostatic/Cavernous nerves of penis, Uterovaginal, Middle rectal)
splanchnic nerves: Lumbar splanchnic nerves
enteric nervous system: Meissner's plexus • Auerbach's plexus
|Pelvis/sacral||paravertebral ganglia: Sacral ganglia - Ganglion impar|
splanchnic nerves: Pelvic splanchnic nerves - Sacral splanchnic nerves
|All||Rami communicans (White, Gray) - Preganglionic fibers - Postganglionic fibers|
|Anatomy of torso (primarily): the spinal cord|
|Spinal nerve||Dorsal (Root, Ganglion, Ramus) • Ventral (Root, Ramus) • Sympathetic trunk • rami communicantes (Gray, White)|
|Gray matter/Rexed laminae||Posterior horn (Column of Clarke, Substantia gelatinosa of Rolando, Nucleus proprius) • Lateral horn • Anterior horn • Central canal/Substantia gelatinosa centralis|
|White matter: somatic/ascending (blue)|
|White matter: motor/descending (red)|
Lateral: Corticospinal (Lateral) • Ep (Rubrospinal, Olivospinal)
Anterior: Corticospinal (Anterior) • Ep (Vestibulospinal, Tectospinal, Reticulospinal)
|Layers||Epidural space • Dura mater • Subdural space • Arachnoid mater • Subarachnoid space • Pia mater|
|Other structures||Denticulate ligaments • Conus medullaris • Cauda equina • Filum terminale • Cervical enlargement • Lumbar enlargement • Anterior median fissure|