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Henry Gray (1825–1861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.

7d. The Abdominal Portion of the Sympathetic System

(Pars Abdominalis S. Sympathici; Lumbar Portion of Gangliated Cord)

The abdominal portion of the sympathetic trunk (Fig. 847). is situated in front of the vertebral column, along the medial margin of the Psoas major. It consists usually of four lumbar ganglia, connected together by interganglionic cords. It is continuous above with the thoracic portion beneath the medial lumbocostal arch, and below with the pelvic portion behind the common iliac artery. The ganglia are of small size, and placed much nearer the median line than are the thoracic ganglia.   1   Gray rami communicantes pass from all the ganglia to the lumbar spinal nerves. The first and second, and sometimes the third, lumbar nerves send white rami communicantes to the corresponding ganglia. The rami communicantes are of considerable length, and accompany the lumbar arteries around the sides of the bodies of the vertebræ, passing beneath the fibrous arches from which some of the fibers of the Psoas major arise.   2

FIG. 847– Abdominal portion of the sympathetic trunk, with the celiac and hypogastric plexuses. (Henle.) (See enlarged image)
    Of the branches of distribution, some pass in front of the aorta, and join the aortic plexus; others descend in front of the common iliac arteries, and assist in forming the hypogastric plexus.   3