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
The profunda may pass medially superficial to the vein, and then continue in its usual way.
In 200 limbs, the usual origin of the medial and lateral circumflex was found in 123 specimens, the medial arose from the femoral in in 41, and the lateral arose from the femoral in 26 specimens.
The profunda may be underdeveloped and terminate as the second or third perforating. If overdeveloped, it courses medial to the biceps femoris in the popliteal fossa to supply the popliteal region.
The profunda may be absent, its branches coming directly from the superficial trunk.
The variations of the profunda and its branches are numerous, and, to a considerable extent, largely associated with one another. The various vessels of the profunda complex may more or less dissociate, one or another of them having an independent origin from the femoral; this may occur to such an extent that a profunda femoris as a definite vessel may not exist.
The point of origin of the profunda from the femoral is usually stated to be about 4 cm distant from the inguinal ligament, but the figure must be taken as an average from which there may be wide departures. Thus, in 430 thighs, Quain found that the distance from the inguinal ligament of the origin of the profunda was between 2.5 and 5.1 cm in 68%; of these it was between 2.5 and 3.8 cm in 42.6%. This distance was less than 2.5 cm in 24.6% of the thighs and more than 5.1 cm in only 7.4%. Quain's data are as follows: origin at the inguinal ligament, seven cases; 0-1.3 cm below the inguinal ligament, 13; 1.3-2.5 cm below, 86; 2.5-3.8 cm below, 183; 3.8-5.1 below, 109; 5.1-6.3 below, 19; 6.6-7.6 cm below, 12; and 11.6 below, 1 case.
The median number of perforating arteries has been reported to be three, although two to six may be found (not including the termination of profunda femoris).
Rare variations of profunda femoris include: absence of the artery, perforating arteries arising from the femoral and from the medial circumflex femoral, and the profunda passing in front of the femoral artery and vein.
Unusual branches include: the inferior epigastric, obturator, dorsal artery of the penis, circumflex iliac, external pudendal, and accessory perforating arteries.
No side, sex or ethnic differences have been reported.
Image 128A, Image 128B, Image 268
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