Anatomy Journal of Africa

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Multiple Arterial Variations in the Right Upper Limb

Y Vaseethan, S Udhayakumar


During routine dissection, multiple arterial variations were seen in the right upper limb of a female cadaver. These arterial variations include: (1) the second part of axillary artery divided into medial and lateral trunks. (2) The lateral trunk coursed between the two roots of the median nerve; gave off subscapular, anterior and posterior circumflex humeral arteries and continued as profunda brachii artery. (3) The medial trunk continued as superficial brachial artery (SBA). (4) SBA coursed under the bicipital aponeurosis and terminated by diving into radial and common interosseous arteries at the cubital fossa. (5) The SBA gave off superficial ulnar artery (SUA) at the level of the interepicondylar line. (6) The SUA coursed superficial to the flexor muscles in the forearm and passed superficial to the flexor retinaculum to form incomplete superficial palmar arch (SPA) (7) The SPA gave off three common palmar digital arteries and a common trunk for radialis indicis and princeps pollicis arteries. It is important to rule out these variations before performing surgical and invasive procedures to avoid complications.

Keywords: Axillary artery, superficial brachial artery, superficial ulnar artery, superficial palmar arch

AJOL African Journals Online