Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Lower Limb
Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Variations of the lateral femoral circumflex include the following. It may arise from the femoral proximal to the origin of profunda femoris, or in common with the obturator. It may be doubled, with one branch from the femoral and one from the profunda, both from profunda, or both from the femoral proximal to profunda. The lateral femoral circumflex is made up of a number of separate arteries, which are represented by a common stem in 72-75%. The lateral femoral circumflex may give rise to an obturator. This artery has been found taking a superfical course after arising from a superficial femoral artery.
As indicated above, one of the circumflex arteries (more frequently the medial femoral circumflex) may arise independently from the femoral, and the point of origin of the independent vessel, may be either above or below that of the profunda. When the medial femoral circumflex is the independent vessel, its origin is most frequently above that of the profunda (with an independent medial femoral circumflex, the origin of the profunda is apt to be somewhat below the usual point). With a high origin of the profunda, the lateral femoral circumflex may be represented by two vessels, one arising from profunda, the other (accessory) arising from the femoral distally.
Occasionally, both circumflexes arise independently from the femoral, the profunda in such cases usually having a low origin, and one of the perforating arteries may arise from the circumflexes.
An extreme case of this, representing an almost dissolution of the profunda, has been reported by Ruge. In this case, the superior perforating arises from the medial femoral circumflex and the middle perforating from the lateral femoral circumflex; what may be termed the profunda arises 9.7 cm below the inguinal ligament and provides only the inferior perforating artery.
The medial femoral circumflex may be very much reduced in size or even absent, its territory being supplied by branches from the obturator artery. The medial femoral circumflex may arise from the external iliac (2% of cases, Lipshutz), from the inferior epigastric (Fischer, 1827), or may be the source of the inferior epigastric (Reid, 1836).
Rarely, one of the perforating arteries arises directly from the femoral, and a similar origin has also been observed for the descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex.
It has been shown (Auburtin, 1905) that the lateral femoral circumflex is made up of a number of separate arteries that are represented by a common stem in 72% of cases (Lipshutz, 1915 reported 75%).
The lateral femoral circumflex may give rise to the obturator artery.
The lateral femoral circumflex may take a superficial course . It may also arise from the superficial femoral.
No side or sex differences have been reported for either the lateral or medial femoral circumflex arteries.
Image 5, Image 377, Image 404
See Image 5, Image 28, Image 128A, Image 128B, Image 236A, Image 264A, Image 264B, Image 360,Image 360x, See Image 377
See Image 5, 28, 128A, 128B, 360, 264A, 264B, 360x, 377, Image 468
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