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High Origin of Ulnar Artery with Unusual Superficial Course and Abnormal Additional Branches from the Superficial Palmar Arch

Case reports


Though ulnar arterial variations are rare, superficial ulnar artery (SUA) is one of its commonest variations. During routine dissection in our department, we observed a unilateral case of SUA in a 70-year-old male human cadaver. It originated  from  the  left  brachial  artery  in  the  middle  of  the  arm,  13cm  above  the  medial  epicondyle  of  humerus (15cm  below  the  outer  margin  of  first  rib).  From  its origin,  it passed  downwards  in  the  medial  part  of  arm  and forearm  in  a  superficial  plane  compared  to  normal  ulnar  artery.  In  the  hand,  the  SUA  anastomosed  with  the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery, creating the superficial palmar arch. The superficial palmar arch gave additional branches to the thumb and index finger. Brachial artery divided into the radial and common interosseous arteries in the cubital fossa. The normal ulnar artery was absent. The existence of a SUA is undeniably of interest to the clinicians as well as to the anatomists. We hereby present a case of unilateral SUA along with a brief review of the literature and analysis of its clinical significance.