Clinico-embryological consideration of the persistent Superficial Ulnar Artery (SUA)
Author(s): Sreeja MT, Leo S
Variations in the branching pattern of the upper limb arterial system are well documented. Superficial ulnar artery is a rare variation in the upper limb that arises usually from the brachial or axillary artery and runs superficial to the muscles originates from the medial epicondyle. During the routine educational dissection of the left upper limb of a male cadaver shows a variation in the branching pattern of brachial artery which gives off an unusual artery about 14.5 cm above the cubital fossa, runs downward medially to the medial nerve on the arm, reaches the forearm after crossing the muscles originates from the medial epicondyle, reaches the hand by passing superficial to the flexor retinaculum and ends in the palmar arch. Throughout its course this abnormal artery runs superficial and gives no braches. The ulnar artery and the other arteries of the left limb are normal. The right upper limb shows the normal branching pattern as explained in the standard anatomical textbook. We concluded this abnormal artery as the persistent superficial ulnar artery in accordance with Poteat’s development of upper limb arteries. Sound knowledge about the normal and the abnormal branching pattern of the arterial system is vital for vascular and reconstructive surgery and also in angiographic screening. Superficial presence of this abnormal artery has many clinical implications also.