Brachial artery and its branches
In this specimen we can see the brachial artery which is the main artery supplying the upper limb. It is a continuation of axillary artery at the lower border of teres major muscle. Brachial artery gives many branches in the arm such as inferior ulnar collateral, superior ulnar collateral, muscular branches and profunda brachii. Profunda brachii artery is the main branch of brachial artery which runs with the radial nerve in the spiral groove. The two terminal branches of brachial artery are- Radial and ulnar arteries. Radial artery runs towards the lateral side of the upper limb and ulnar artery towards the medial side. Both of them give one superficial branch in the palm which unite to form the superficial palmar arch. This superficial arch can also be formed on the radial side by other branches of radial artery such as arteria princeps pollicis or arteria radialis indices. Sometime this arch can be incomplete where radial artery does not contribute to form the arch as shown in this specimen.
The axillary artery is the main artery of the upper limb. It begins as a continuation of the subclavian artery at the outer border of the first rib. It then continues as the brachial artery beyond the lower border of teres major muscle. The artery is closely related to the cords and branches of the brachial plexus.
Profunda brachii artery:
The profunda brachii artery is the largest and deep branch of the brachial artery. It is accompanied by the radial nerve as it passes through the lower triangular space of the arm and then the spiral groove on the posterior surface of the humerus.
The radial artery is one of the terminal branches of the brachial artery and extends along the lateral side of the forearm. The artery can be palpated on the anterior surface of the distal end of the radius where the ‚Äúradial pulse‚Äù is felt. The artery terminates by anastomosing with the deep branch of the ulnar artery to form the deep palmar arch.
The ulnar artery is the larger of the two terminal branches of the brachial artery. It begins at the level of the neck of the radius in the cubital fossa and extends along the medial side of the forearm. The common interosseous artery is an important branch of the ulnar artery. The ulnar artery terminates in front of the flexor retinaculum of the wrist into a superficial and deep branch. The superficial branch forms the superficial palmar arch while the deep branch contributes tot eh deep palmar arch.
Superficial palmar arch:
The superficial palmar arch is an arterial arch located in the palm between the palmar aponeurosis and the long flexor tendons. The arterial arch is mainly formed by the superficial branch of the ulnar artery. The completion of the arch is variable. The following are the possibilities: ‚Ä¢ The superficial branch of the radial artery joins the superficial branch of the ulnar artery to form the arch ‚Ä¢ The arch is incomplete formed only by the superficial branch of the ulnar artery ‚Ä¢ The arteria princeps pollicis or the arteria radialis indices (branches of radial artery) may complete the arch ‚Ä¢ Rarely the median artery, a branch of the common interossues artery may complete the arch
Arteria princeps pollicis and Arteria radialis indices:
The arteria princeps pollicis or the arteria radialis indices are the branches of the radial artery given off in the palm. They may sometimes contribute to the formation of the superficial palmar arch.