European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 13 - Number 2
Eur J Anat, 13 (2): 91-95 (2009)

The posterior circumflex humeral artery turning under the tendon of the latissimus dorsi: A case report

Konarik M., Knize J., Baca V., Kachlik D.

Department of Anatomy, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Ruská 87, Praha 10, 100 00, Czech Republic; Department of Medicine and Humanities, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, 272 01 Kladno, Czech Republic

ABSTRACT We present a case of an anomalous branching of the axillary artery, combined from two variants with mutual linkage, concerning the posterior circumflex humeral and profunda brachii arteries. A female cadaver axillary fossa was dissected and the combined variant exposed. The first variant represented a case of the posterior circumflex humeral artery running not within the humerotricipital triangle but branching more distally, turning under the tendon of the latissimus dorsi and teres major muscles and supplying its usual area around the glenohumeral joint. It resembled an anomalously enlarged deltoid branch of the profunda brachii artery. The second variant affected the profunda brachii artery (deep artery of arm) which did not stem from the brachial artery either, but from the posterior circumflex humeral one, not featuring a consistent state, but being replaced by three smaller branches, corresponding to its textbook terminal branches (medial and radial collateral artery and muscular branch for triceps brachii muscle). This variant is quite rare (1.25%) as reported in the only literature source available: Adachi 1928-4.3%. This variant is important in the case of the collateral circulation because it reduces the number of collateral interconnections and increases the danger of the development of ischaemia in cases of an arterial occlusion.

Keywords: anatomical variation, artery, artery malformation, article, axillary artery, cadaver, case report, female, human, latissimus dorsi muscle, posterior circumflex humeral artery, profunda brachii artery

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)