Brachiomedian artery (arteria brachiomediana) revisited: a comprehensive review

The scheme of two cases of a variant artery as drawn by Schwalbe in 1898. Legend: ABUMS – arteria brachioulnomediana superficialis, ACNMm – arteria comitans nervi mediani manus, AUAS – arteria ulnaris accessoria superficialis, AU – arteria ulnaris.

This article reviews in detail the superficial brachiomedian artery (arteria brachiomediana superficialis), a very rare variant of the main arterial trunks of the upper limb. It branches either from the axillary artery or the brachial artery, descends superficially in the arm (similar to the course of the superficial brachial artery) and continues across the cubital fossa, runs superficially in the forearm, approaches the median nerve and enters the carpal canal to reach the hand. It usually terminates in the superficial palmar arch. The first drawing was published, in 1830, and the first description was published, in 1844. Altogether, to our knowledge, only 31 cases of a true, superficial brachiomedian artery have been reported (Some cases are incorrectly reported as superficial brachioradiomedian artery or superficial brachioulnomedian artery). Based on a meta-analysis of known, available studies, the incidence is 0.23% in Caucasians and 1.48% in Mongolians. Knowing whether or not this arterial variant is present is important in clinical medicine and relevant for: The catheterization via the radial or ulnar artery; harvesting the vascular pedicle for a forearm flap based on the radial, ulnar or superficial brachiomedian arteries; the possible collateral circulation in cases of the arterial closure; and the surgical management of carpal tunnel syndrome. Its presence can elevate the danger of an injury to the superficially located variant artery or of an accidental injection.

This article was published as:

David Kachlik, Marek Konarik, Jitka Riedlova, and Vaclav Baca. Brachiomedian artery (arteria brachiomediana) revisited: a comprehensive review. Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2016 May; 16(2): 91–101. doi:  10.17305/bjbms.2016.801

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