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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Upper Limb: Anterior and Posterior Circumflex Humeral Arteries

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Upper Limb

Anterior and Posterior Circumflex Humeral Arteries

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


The branches of the third part of the axillary artery are subject to great variation.

The two circumflex arteries may arise from a common trunk (20% of individuals, Poynter; 6%, according to Quain; 22%, Pellegrini; 16%, Hitzrot), usually alone or rarely together with profunda brachii and muscular branches.

In a study of 610 limbs, the anterior artery had a common origin with a neighboring vessel in 20.2% of cases, most frequently with the posterior artery (13.4%). It is usually small, is doubled in 8% of cases, and is the last branch of the axillary in 35% (Poynter).

The two circumflex arteries together or the anterior circumflex alone may be the only branch of the third part of the axillary.

In some cases, the posterior circumflex humeral arises from the profunda brachii or from the subscapular artery (10%).

The anterior and the posterior circumflex humeral arteries may be doubled.

Based upon 104 subjects by Pellegrini (author 1) and from studies performed by Dubreuil-Chambardel (author 2).

 

Arise Independently
Common Trunk
Arise from Subscapular
Arise with Deep Humeral

Author 1
Author 2

Author 1
Author 2

Author 1
Author 2

Author 1
Author 2

A. Circumflex Posterior

39

42

22

17

18

23

12

16

A. Circumflex Anterior

72
66

22
17

3
7

2
7

 

Images 261


References

Dallest, -. 1907) Anomalie de l'artère circonflexe postérieure. Bull. et Mém. de la Soc. Anatomique de Paris 9:327-328.

Dubreuil-Chambardel, L. (1926) Variations des Artères du Membre Superieur. Masson et Cie, Paris.

Nussbaum, V. (1870) Stich in die Schultergegend. Verletzung der Arteria circumflexa humeri. Tod am 2. Tage. Friedreich's Blatter für Gerichtliche Medicin und Sanitatspolizei 21:146-151.

See also references for the Supreme thoracic or Lateral thoracic arteries.

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