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A coincidental variation of the axillary artery: the brachioradial artery and the aberrant posterior humeral circumflex artery passing under the tendon of the latissimus dorsi muscle

Marek Konarik, David Kachlik, Vaclav Baca


A case of anomalous terminal branching of the axillary artery was encountered and described in a left upper limb of a male cadaver. A series of 214 upper limbs of Caucasian race was dissected. A variant artery, stemming from the very end of the axillary artery followed a superficial course distally. It passed the cubital fossa, ran on the lateral side of the forearm as usual radial artery, crossed ventrally to the palm and terminated in the deep palmar arch. This vessel is a case of the brachioradial artery (incorrectly termed as the “radial artery with high origin”). Moreover, it was associated with another variation, concerning the aberrant posterior humeral circumflex artery passing under the tendon of the latissimus dorsi muscle. The anatomical knowledge of the axillary region is essential for radiodiagnostic, surgical and traumatologic procedures. The superficially located artery brings an elevated danger of heavy bleeding in all unexpected situations, its variant branching can cause problems in radial catheterization procedures and the anomalously coursing other arterial variant poses an elevated danger in surgical procedures concerning the surgical neck of humerus.


anatomical variations; brachioradial artery; posterior humeral circumflex artery; upper limb; coincidental

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