Plastic Surgery>>>>>Breast, trunk and perineum
Question 2#

Which of the following arteries does not provide blood supply to the nipple-areola complex (NAC)?

a. Superior thoracic artery
b. Thoraco-acromial artery
c. Intercostal perforators
d. Internal mammary artery
e. Lateral thoracic artery

Correct Answer is A


Superior thoracic artery. The superior thoracic artery does not nourish the NAC. The main blood supply to the nipple-areola complex is provided by branches from the internal mammary and the lateral thoracic arteries, which run in the subcutaneous tissue and communicate with each other above and below the areola. The dermal and subdermal vascular plexus has less importance in NAC blood supply. A medial or lateral pedicle provides the best blood supply to the NAC intercostal perforators and the branches from thoraco-acromial artery also contribute to the blood supply of breast tissue. Branches from the thoracodorsal artery may supply the lateral part of the breast.  


  1. Nakajima H, Imanishi N, Aiso S. Arterial anatomy of the nipple-areola complex. Plast Reconstr Surg 1995; 96(4): 843-4.
  2. Hamdi M, Wuringer E, Schlenz I, Kuzbari R. Anatomy of the breast: a clinical application. In: Vertical scar mammaplasty. Hamdi M, Hammond DC, Nahai F, Eds. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag, 2005: 1-10.