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Sternal angle

Recommended video: Sternum [09:33]
Bony elements of the sternum.

The sternal angle (of Louis), also called the manubriosternal angle, is the anterior projecting angle formed by the articulation of the manubrium and body of the sternum (manubriosternal joint), which lie in slightly different planes to each other. The sternal angle is located at the level of the transverse thoracic plane, which passes through the intervertebral disc between T4/T5 posteriorly and the second costal cartilage anteriorly.

The sternal angle serves as an important anatomical landmark for several features, including: marking the superior limit of the pericardium, the origin and end of the aortic arch, the bifurcation of the trachea, the bifurcation of the pulmonary trunk, and separating the superior and inferior mediastinum.

The sternal angle is an easily palpable and often visible landmark on the anterior chest wall and as it marks the level of the second costal cartilage, it is commonly used by clinicians during physical examinations for identifying and counting ribs.

Terminology English: Sternal angle
Latin: Angulus sterni
Definition The angle between the manubrium and body of the sternum at the manubriosternal joint

Learn more about the sternum with this study unit (and article):

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