Author(s): Rubinstein D, Escott EJ, Hendrick LL
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The levator claviculae muscle is an infrequently recognized variant in humans, occurring in 2\% to 3\% of the population, and has rarely been reported in the radiologic or anatomic literature. The importance of this muscle to radiologists is in distinguishing it from an abnormality; most commonly, cervical adenopathy. After discovering this muscle on the CT scans of two patients during routine clinical examinations, we conducted a study to determine the prevalence and appearance of the muscle on CT studies. METHODS: We evaluated 300 CT scans that adequately depicted the expected location of the muscle. The most superior level in which the muscle could be identified and the apparent location of insertion on the clavicle were recorded for all subjects in whom the muscle was detected. RESULTS: Seven levator claviculae muscles were identified in six subjects (2\%). It was bilateral in one, on the left in four, and on the right in one. It was identified up to the level of the transverse process of C3 in all cases. The insertion was the middle third of the clavicle for two muscles and the lateral third of the clavicle for the remaining five muscles. CONCLUSION: Because the levator claviculae muscle will most likely be encountered during a radiologist's career, it is important to recognize this muscle as a variant and not as an abnormality.
This article was published in AJNR Am J Neuroradiol
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access