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Blood vessels of Upper Limb
Dr Mathew Joseph
MBBS, MD(AIIMS), BCC(Palliative Medicine)
Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy
Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur
Arteries of Upper Limb
• The arterial supply to the upper limb is delivered via five main vessels
(proximal to distal):
• Subclavian artery
• Axillary artery
• Brachial artery
• Radial artery
• Ulnar artery
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Subclavian Artery
• On the right : the subclavian artery arises from the brachiocephalic trunk.
• On the left : directly from the arch of aorta.
• The subclavian artery travels laterally towards the axilla.
• It can be divided into three parts based on its position relative to the anterior
scalene muscle:
• First part – origin of the subclavian artery to the medial border of the
anterior scalene.
• Second part – posterior to the anterior scalene.
• Third part – lateral border of anterior scalene to the lateral border of the first
rib.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Axillary Artery
• The axillary artery lies deep to the pectoralis minor and is enclosed in
the axillary sheath (a fibrous layer that covers the artery and the
three cords of the brachial plexus).
• The artery can be divided into three parts based on its position
relative to the pectoralis minor muscle:
• First part – proximal to pectoralis minor
• Second part – posterior to pectoralis minor
• Third part – distal to pectoralis minor
Axillary Artery
First Part Second Part Third Part
Superior Thoracic Artery Thoracoacromial artery
Lateral thoracic artery
Subscapular artery
Anterior Circumflex Humeral
artery
Posterior circumflex Humeral
Artery
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Clinical Relevance: Axillary Artery Aneurysm
• An axillary artery aneurysm is a dilation of the vessel to more than twice its
original size. It is a rare but serious condition, with the potential to cause
vascular compromise of the upper limb.
• The dilated portion of the axillary artery can compress the brachial plexus,
producing neurological symptoms such as paraesthesia and muscle
weakness.
• The definitive treatment of an axillary artery aneurysm is surgical. It
involves excising the aneurysm and reconstructing the vessel wall using a
vascular graft.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Brachial Artery
• The brachial artery is a continuation of the axillary artery past the lower
border of the teres major.
• It is the main supply of blood for the arm.
• Immediately distal to the teres major, the brachial artery gives rise to the
profunda brachii (deep artery), which travels with the radial nerve in the
radial groove of the humerus and supplies structures in the posterior aspect
of the upper arm (e.g. triceps brachii).
• The brachial artery proper descends down the arm.
• As it moves through the cubital fossa, underneath the bicipital aponeurosis,
the brachial artery terminates by bifurcating into the radial and ulnar arteries
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood Pressure Measurement
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Brachial Pulse
Clinical Relevance: Occlusion or Laceration of the Brachial
Artery
• The arm has relatively good anastomotic supply. This means that it is
well protected from ischaemia in cases of temporary or partial
occlusion of the brachial artery.
• However, if the artery is completely occluded (or severed), the
resulting ischaemia can cause necrosis of forearm muscles. Muscle
fibres are replaced by scar tissue and shorten considerably – this can
cause a characteristic flexion deformity, called Volkmann’s ischaemic
contracture.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Radial & Ulnar Arteries
• Formed by the bifurcation of the brachial artery within the cubital fossa:
• Radial artery – supplies the posterolateral aspect of the forearm. It contributes
to anastomotic networks surrounding the elbow joint and carpal bones.
• The radial pulse can be palpated in the distal forearm, immediately lateral to
the prominent tendon of the flexor carpi radialis muscle.
• Ulnar artery – supplies the anteromedial aspect of the forearm. It contributes
to an anastomotic network surrounding the elbow joint.
• Also gives rise to the anterior and posterior interosseous arteries, which supply
deeper structures in the forearm.
• These two arteries anastomose in the hand by forming two arches – the
superficial palmar arch, and the deep palmar arch
Arterial Arches of Palm
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Radial Pulse
Veins of Upper Limb
• The venous system of the upper limb drains deoxygenated blood from
the arm, forearm and hand.
• It can be subdivided into the superficial system and the deep system.
Superficial Veins
Basilic Vein:
• The basilic vein originates from the dorsal venous network of the hand and
ascends the medial aspect of the upper limb.
• At the border of the teres major, the vein moves deep into the arm. Here, it
combines with the brachial veins from the deep venous system to form the
axillary vein.
Cephalic Vein:
• The cephalic vein also arises from the dorsal venous network of the hand. It
ascends the antero-lateral aspect of the upper limb, passing anteriorly at the
elbow.
• At the shoulder, the cephalic vein travels between the deltoid and pectoralis
major muscles (known as the deltopectoral groove), and enters the axilla region
via the clavipectoral triangle. Within the axilla, the cephalic vein empties into
axillary vein.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Median Cubital Vein
This provides an excellent site
for Mary to draw blood, called
venipuncture techniques.
Venipuncture involves the
collection of blood for
purposes such as lab analysis,
donation, or testing for drugs
or alcohol.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Deep Veins
• The deep venous system of the upper limb is situated underneath the deep
fascia. It is formed by paired veins, which accompany and lie either side of an
artery. In the upper extremity, the deep veins share the name of the artery
they accompany.
• The brachial veins are the largest in size, and are situated either side of the
brachial artery. The pulsations of the brachial artery assist the venous return.
Veins that are structured in this way are known as vena comitantes.
• Perforating veins run between the deep and superficial veins of the upper
limb, connecting the two systems
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Clinical Relevance: Venepuncture
• Venepuncture is the practice of obtaining intravenous access. This is usually
for the purpose of providing intravenous therapy (e.g. fluids, medications) or
for obtaining a blood sample.
• The median cubital vein is a common site of venepuncture. It is a superficial
vein that is located anteriorly to the cubital fossa region. It is thought to be
fixed in place by perforating veins, which arise from the deep venous system
and pierce the bicipital aponeurosis.
• Its ease of access, fixed position and superficial position make the median
cubital vein a good site for venepuncture in many individuals.
Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx
Thank You

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Blood vessels of Upper Limb.pptx

  • 1. Blood vessels of Upper Limb Dr Mathew Joseph MBBS, MD(AIIMS), BCC(Palliative Medicine) Assistant Professor Department of Anatomy Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur
  • 2. Arteries of Upper Limb • The arterial supply to the upper limb is delivered via five main vessels (proximal to distal): • Subclavian artery • Axillary artery • Brachial artery • Radial artery • Ulnar artery
  • 4. Subclavian Artery • On the right : the subclavian artery arises from the brachiocephalic trunk. • On the left : directly from the arch of aorta. • The subclavian artery travels laterally towards the axilla. • It can be divided into three parts based on its position relative to the anterior scalene muscle: • First part – origin of the subclavian artery to the medial border of the anterior scalene. • Second part – posterior to the anterior scalene. • Third part – lateral border of anterior scalene to the lateral border of the first rib.
  • 6. Axillary Artery • The axillary artery lies deep to the pectoralis minor and is enclosed in the axillary sheath (a fibrous layer that covers the artery and the three cords of the brachial plexus). • The artery can be divided into three parts based on its position relative to the pectoralis minor muscle: • First part – proximal to pectoralis minor • Second part – posterior to pectoralis minor • Third part – distal to pectoralis minor
  • 7. Axillary Artery First Part Second Part Third Part Superior Thoracic Artery Thoracoacromial artery Lateral thoracic artery Subscapular artery Anterior Circumflex Humeral artery Posterior circumflex Humeral Artery
  • 9. Clinical Relevance: Axillary Artery Aneurysm • An axillary artery aneurysm is a dilation of the vessel to more than twice its original size. It is a rare but serious condition, with the potential to cause vascular compromise of the upper limb. • The dilated portion of the axillary artery can compress the brachial plexus, producing neurological symptoms such as paraesthesia and muscle weakness. • The definitive treatment of an axillary artery aneurysm is surgical. It involves excising the aneurysm and reconstructing the vessel wall using a vascular graft.
  • 12. Brachial Artery • The brachial artery is a continuation of the axillary artery past the lower border of the teres major. • It is the main supply of blood for the arm. • Immediately distal to the teres major, the brachial artery gives rise to the profunda brachii (deep artery), which travels with the radial nerve in the radial groove of the humerus and supplies structures in the posterior aspect of the upper arm (e.g. triceps brachii). • The brachial artery proper descends down the arm. • As it moves through the cubital fossa, underneath the bicipital aponeurosis, the brachial artery terminates by bifurcating into the radial and ulnar arteries
  • 17. Clinical Relevance: Occlusion or Laceration of the Brachial Artery • The arm has relatively good anastomotic supply. This means that it is well protected from ischaemia in cases of temporary or partial occlusion of the brachial artery. • However, if the artery is completely occluded (or severed), the resulting ischaemia can cause necrosis of forearm muscles. Muscle fibres are replaced by scar tissue and shorten considerably – this can cause a characteristic flexion deformity, called Volkmann’s ischaemic contracture.
  • 20. Radial & Ulnar Arteries • Formed by the bifurcation of the brachial artery within the cubital fossa: • Radial artery – supplies the posterolateral aspect of the forearm. It contributes to anastomotic networks surrounding the elbow joint and carpal bones. • The radial pulse can be palpated in the distal forearm, immediately lateral to the prominent tendon of the flexor carpi radialis muscle. • Ulnar artery – supplies the anteromedial aspect of the forearm. It contributes to an anastomotic network surrounding the elbow joint. • Also gives rise to the anterior and posterior interosseous arteries, which supply deeper structures in the forearm. • These two arteries anastomose in the hand by forming two arches – the superficial palmar arch, and the deep palmar arch
  • 26. Veins of Upper Limb • The venous system of the upper limb drains deoxygenated blood from the arm, forearm and hand. • It can be subdivided into the superficial system and the deep system.
  • 27. Superficial Veins Basilic Vein: • The basilic vein originates from the dorsal venous network of the hand and ascends the medial aspect of the upper limb. • At the border of the teres major, the vein moves deep into the arm. Here, it combines with the brachial veins from the deep venous system to form the axillary vein. Cephalic Vein: • The cephalic vein also arises from the dorsal venous network of the hand. It ascends the antero-lateral aspect of the upper limb, passing anteriorly at the elbow. • At the shoulder, the cephalic vein travels between the deltoid and pectoralis major muscles (known as the deltopectoral groove), and enters the axilla region via the clavipectoral triangle. Within the axilla, the cephalic vein empties into axillary vein.
  • 31. Median Cubital Vein This provides an excellent site for Mary to draw blood, called venipuncture techniques. Venipuncture involves the collection of blood for purposes such as lab analysis, donation, or testing for drugs or alcohol.
  • 33. Deep Veins • The deep venous system of the upper limb is situated underneath the deep fascia. It is formed by paired veins, which accompany and lie either side of an artery. In the upper extremity, the deep veins share the name of the artery they accompany. • The brachial veins are the largest in size, and are situated either side of the brachial artery. The pulsations of the brachial artery assist the venous return. Veins that are structured in this way are known as vena comitantes. • Perforating veins run between the deep and superficial veins of the upper limb, connecting the two systems
  • 35. Clinical Relevance: Venepuncture • Venepuncture is the practice of obtaining intravenous access. This is usually for the purpose of providing intravenous therapy (e.g. fluids, medications) or for obtaining a blood sample. • The median cubital vein is a common site of venepuncture. It is a superficial vein that is located anteriorly to the cubital fossa region. It is thought to be fixed in place by perforating veins, which arise from the deep venous system and pierce the bicipital aponeurosis. • Its ease of access, fixed position and superficial position make the median cubital vein a good site for venepuncture in many individuals.