The superficial palmar arch (SPA) and its contributing arteries are highly variable. The palmar type of median artery (PMA) can be involved in the formation of the SPA by replacing the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery (RA) or the ulnar artery (UA). The present study was undertaken to investigate the presence of the PMA and its contribution in the formation of SPA in 42 cadavers (84 upper limbs) of Indian origin. When there was a PMA, its outer diameter was measured in the carpal tunnel. The PMA was found in 13 upper limbs (15.4%), and of these ten incidences (11.9%), the PMA took part in the formation of SPA, and in three instances (3.5%), the PMA did not make up part of the SPA. Out of the ten cases in which the PMA contributed to the formation of SPA, in six cases (7.1%), the PMA anastomosed with the UA; in three cases (3.5%), the PMA anastomosed with both the UA and the RA, and in one incidence (1.1%), the PMA joined the arteria radialis indicis (deep branch of the RA) to complete the SPA. The outer diameters of the median arteries varied between 0.8 and 2.6 mm with the mean value of 1.7 mm. The present study concludes that the median-ulnar type of SPA was the most common type of SPA when the PMA was encountered as a source of superficial arterial arcade of the hand, followed by the radial-median-ulnar type. The vascular patterns found in this study are important to hand surgeons. The present study of PMA origin, course, and its contribution to the SPA will add to the existing knowledge of the vascular anatomy of forearm and hand.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine