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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: P: Pectineus

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: P


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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The pectineus may be divided into two parts, each of which receives its nerve supply from different sources: the medial part from the obturator and the lateral part from the femoral nerve. This division occurs normally in many mammals including some primates. Pectineus may be supplied entirely by an accessory obturator nerve.

A common variation of this muscle is the union with adductor longus. In joining adductor longus it crosses over the deep (profundus) femoral artery and may compress it.

Accessory fasciculi may unite the pectineus with the obturator externus, the iliacus, the capsule of the hip, or the lesser trochanter.

Macalister reported the following in regard to pectineus:

  1. It may receive fibers from adductor longus;
  2. It may send a slip to obturator externus;
  3. It may be attached to the femur as far up as the lesser trochanter;
  4. It may be cleft into two parts (also seen by Sömmerring);
  5. It may be found attached to the capsular ligament of the hip joint (Harrison);
  6. A bilaminar pectineus was found (by Winslow), the deeper lamina being the smaller of the two;
  7. Sandifort found it inserted by a tendon into the lesser trochanter;
  8. It may receive a small slip from iliacus;
  9. It may insert into the capsular ligament of the hip joint.

Syn.: m. pectinalis, (Lividus). Schambeinmuskel, premier adducteur superficiel (Cruveilhier).


Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed., The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Henle, J. (1871) Handbuch der Muskellehre des Menschen , in Handbuch der systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. Verlag von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig.

Schaefer, E.A., Symington, J. and T.H. Bryce., Eds., (1923) Quain's Elements of Human Anatomy, 11th ed., Longmans Green and Company, London.

Macalister, A. (1875) Additional observations on muscular anomalies in human anatomy (third series), with a catalogue of the principal muscular variations hitherto published. Trans. Roy. Irish Acad. Sci. 25:1-134.

M'Whinnie, A.M. (1846) On the varieties in the muscular system of the human body. London Medical Gazette. 11:185-196.

Sugihara, T. (1956) On the M. pectineus and its innervation. Folia anatomica japonica 28:377-388. In Japanese.

Sugihara, T. (1956) On the width of the M. pectineus. Nihon Diagaku Igaku Zasshi. 15:7-13. In Japanese.

Wood, J. (1867) On human muscular variations in their relation to comparative anatomy. J. Anat. Physiol. 1:44-59.

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