Nipples Anatomy


In mammals, a nipple (also called mammary papilla or teat) is a small projection of skin containing the outlets for 15–20 lactiferous ducts arranged cylindrically around the tip. Marsupials and eutherian mammals typically have an even number of nipples arranged bilaterally, from as few as 2 to as many as 19.[6]

The skin of the nipple is rich in a supply of special nerves that are sensitive to certain stimuli: these are slowly-adapting and rapidly-adapting cutaneous mechanoreceptors. Mechanoreceptors are identified respectively by Type I slowly-adapting with multiple Merkel corpuscle end-organs and Type II slowly-adapting with single Ruffini corpuscle end-organs, as well as Type I rapidly-adapting with multiple Meissner corpuscle end-organs and Type II rapidly-adapting with single Pacinian corpuscle end-organs. The dominant nerve supply to the nipple comes from the lateral cutaneous branches of fourth intercostal nerve.[7] The nipple is also used as an anatomical landmark. It marks the T4 (fourth thoracic vertebra) dermatome and rests over the approximate level of the diaphragm.[8]

The arterial supply to the nipple and breast originates from the anterior intercostal branches of the internal thoracic (mammary) arteries; lateral thoracic artery; and thoracodorsal arteries. The venous vessels parallel the arteries.[2] The lymphatic ducts that drain the nipple are the same for the breast.[2] The axillary nodes are the apical axillary nodes, the lateral group and the anterior group.[9] 75% of the lymph is drained through the axillary lymph nodes located near the armpit. The rest of the drainage leaves the nipple and breast through infroclavicular, pectoral, or parasternal nodes.

Since nipples change throughout the life span in men and women, the anatomy of the nipple can change and this change may be expected and considered normal.(wikipedia)

Body Regions, Breast
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