inferior cervical ganglia (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

On each side, the inferior cervical ganglion lies anterior to the neck of the first rib, posteromedial to the vertebral artery. It is formed from the fusion of the ipsilateral ganglia of the seventh and eighth cervical spinal nerves. Often, there is fusion with the first thoracic spinal nerve ganglion to form the stellate ganglion.

If only the inferior ganglion forms, its relations are:

  • posterior:
    • neck of first rib
    • transverse process of C7
  • anterior: vertebral artery
  • laterally:
    • lower trunk of brachial plexus
    • scalenus minimus
  • medially: vertebral body

The inferior cervical ganglia only receive sympathetic efferent fibres from the sympathetic chain that lies inferiorly. Its branches ramify widely - see submenu.