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Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System

Variations in the Points of Division of the Popliteal Artery

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally reviewed


Image of variations in the points of division of the popliteal artery

Left: 1) Common pattern of branching; shortly after the articulation of the tibia and fibula, the anterior tibial artery (2) leaves the main tibio-peroneal trunk, somewhat distally the trunk divides into posterior tibial (4) and peroneal (5) branches.

2) In the second case, the popliteal divides near the knee joint into posterior tibial (4) and a common trunk for the tibialis anterior (2) and peroneal (5) arteries.

Middle:3) In the third case, at the level of the tibio-fibular joint, the three arteries, i.e. anteror tibial (2), posterior tibial (4) and the peroneal (5) all separate from a common trunk.

4) In the fourth case, the anterior tibial (2) leaves the main trunk (tibio-peroneal trunk), receives a secondary anastomotic branch and this is followed by the division of the trunk into posterior tibial (4) and peroneal branches.

Right: 5) In this fifth case, after the division of the anterior tibial artery (2), the subsequent division into posterior tibial (4) and peroneal branches occurs unusually distally.

from Dabreuil-Chambardel, 1925.

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