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9. Chest (mediastinum) CT #1, axial plane

The plane of imaging is through the T2 vertebra. The great vessels of the superior mediastinum are well visualized. In general the veins are anterior to the arteries, and the confluence of the subclavian and internal jugular veins (to form the brachiocephalic vein) can be seen bilaterally just behind the medial ends of the clavicles. The three major arterial branches off the aorta are also well seen. The plane of imaging is superior enough to display the bifurcation of the brachiocephalic artery into right subclavian and common carotid arteries (at 10:00-11:00 relative to the trachea). Also, the left common carotid and subclavian arteries are seen at 2:00 and 4:00 (again, relative to the trachea).

To visualize the course of these vessels, refer to Image #8 (superior vena cava and its tributaries) and to Image #7 (aortic arch arteriogram).