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sympathetic trunks ( sympathetic chain, gangliated cord) are a paired bundle of nerve fibers that run from the base of the skull to the coccyx.
Structure [ edit ]
The sympathetic trunk (T1-L2) travels in a downward direction from the skull, just lateral to the vertebral bodies. It interacts with the
spinal nerves or their ventral rami 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.
Function [ edit ]
The sympathetic trunk is a fundamental part of the
sympathetic nervous system, part of the autonomic nervous system. It allows nerve fibres to travel to spinal nerves that are superior and inferior to the one in which they originated. Also, a number of nerves, such as most of the splanchnic nerves, arise directly from the trunks.
Autonomic nervous supply to organs in the
Spinal column origin [1 ]
T6, T7, T8, T9, sometimes T10
T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, sometimes T10
jejunum and ileum
T5, T6, T7, T8, T9
T6, T7, T8
gallbladder and liver
T6, T7, T8, T9
kidneys and ureters
Additional images [ edit ]
The formation of the spinal nerve from the dorsal and ventral roots.
Dissection of side wall of pelvis showing sacral and pudendal plexuses.
Sacral plexus of the right side.
Diagram of efferent sympathetic nervous system.
Sympathetic connections of the ciliary and superior cervical ganglia.
References [ edit ]
This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)
See also [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]