The highest intercostal artery, also called supreme intercostal artery, is an important blood vessel of the trunk. It is one of the two arterial branches into which the costocervical trunk divides. This latter arterial trunk arises in turn from the subclavian artery. The highest intercostal has a rather long descending course as it runs into the upper trunk region, giving off the 1st and 2nd intercostal arteries. Function: it supplies the intercostal muscles, which run between the ribs, with oxygen-rich blood.
Schematic view of the highest intercostal artery and arteries of the neck and upper trunk