Morphological study of the uncommon rectus sterni muscle in German cadavers

  • MA Motabagani
  • A Sonalla
  • E Abdel-Meguid
  • MA Bakheit


Objective: The present investigation has been designed to study the incidence of the rectus stern muscle in German human cadavers dissected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, trying to find a postulation for the development of such muscle when present.

Design: Gross dissection of 130 cadavers, of both sexes, was performed throughout a period of 10 years.

Setting: Department of Anatomy College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Intervention: Investigation of the origin and insertion of the rectus sterni and measurements of its length and width.

Results: Two adult cadavers, one of each sex, had shown well-developed bilateral rectus stern muscles. All muscles identified were parasternal in position, being superficial to the medial portion of the pectoralis major muscle. Minor morphological differences were observed among the four muscle masses concerning their length, breadth, origin and insertion.

Conclusion: The current study has determined the incidence of the rectus sterni muscle, in German cadavers to be 1.54% per bodies examined compared to 4% in cadavers from Saudis. Such a frequency is compared to that reported in different geographic populations. The rectus sterni muscle is innervated by the anterior cutaneous branches of the intercostal nerves. The description of the rectus sterni muscle and its incidence determined in the present study, might be of a great help for clinicians radiographing or tackling the pectoral region.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 81 No. 3 March 2004: 130-133

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eISSN: 0012-835X