Suprasternal notch

The suprasternal notch (fossa jugularis sternalis), also known as the jugular notch, is part of human anatomy. It is the large, visible dip where the clavicles join the sternum.

Anatomical location

The suprasternal notch is found at the superior border of the manubrium of the sternum, between the clavicular notches.

Evaluative tests using the suprasternal notch

Intrathoracic pressure is measured by using a transducer held in such a way over the body that an actuator engages the soft tissue that is located above the suprasternal notch.

Arcot J. Chandrasekhar, MD, FRCP, FACP, FCCP of Loyola University, Chicago, is the author of an evaluative test for the aorta using the suprasternal notch. The test can help to recognise the following conditions:

To carry out this test it is necessary to place an index finger or middle finger on the notch and palpate it. In a young normal person there should be no palpable pulse. A prominent pulse may be indicative of an uncoiled aorta,arch aneurysm, or a tortuous blood vessel. The most likely cause of a suprasternal pulse in an adult is an aortic arch aneurysm, while the most likely cause in a child is coarctation of the aorta.

As a zone of eroticism

The suprasternal notch or well is seen as a point of attraction by many men and women.

The suprasternal notch can be highlighted subtly by wearing pendants or necklaces which rest in that area, to draw focus to a part of the body that can be considered an erotic or sensual zone. In this way, exhibiting the notch is more understated in exhibiting sensuality than the usual areas (legs, chest, hips etc.) and is considered an erogenous zone.

The suprasternal notch features in The English Patient as an erogenous zone.


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