Do cutaneous nerves cross the midline?

Capek, S., Tubbs, R.S., Spinner, R.J., 2015. Do cutaneous nerves cross the midline? Clin Anat 28, 96–100. doi:10.1002/ca.22427.


Standard cutaneous innervation maps show strict midline demarcation. Although authors of these maps accept variability of peripheral nerve distribution or occasionally even the midline overlap of cutaneous nerves, this concept seems to be neglected by many other anatomists. To support the statement that such transmedian overlap exists, we performed an extensive literature search and found ample evidence for all regions (head/neck, thorax/abdomen, back, perineum, and genitalia) that peripheral nerves cross the midline or communicate across the midline. This concept has substantial clinical implications, most notably in anesthesia and perineural tumor spread. This article serves as a springboard for future anatomical, clinical, and experimental research.