Anatomical variations in the tendon sheath of the first compartment

Anat Sci Int. 2010 Sep;85(3):145-51. doi: 10.1007/s12565-009-0070-x. Epub 2009 Dec 29.


Using Hiranuma's classification, we carefully examined anatomical variations in the first compartments of 246 human wrist joints from 124 cadavers. Morphological examinations were conducted to determine the number of accessory tendons and the existence of dissepiments for the extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) and abductor pollicis longus (APL) tendons. Anatomical variations of EPBs and APLs were grouped together by type, and appearance ratios were calculated based on Hiranuma's classification. Of the 246 wrist joints, 156 were categorized as normal type (63.4%), 57 as complete dissepiment type (23.2%), 22 as incomplete dissepiment type (8.9%), and 11 as EPB-lacking type (4.5%). Accessory tendons were identified in both the EPB and the APL tendons of most cadavers, and the incidence of dissepiment in tendon sheaths was approximately 33%. Sixty-six of the 193 wrist joints (34.2%) showed equal numbers of right and left accessory tendons. However, the number of EPB accessory tendons was higher than in previous studies, and in all cases some kind of dissepiment was observed in the APL and EPB. The number of EPB and APL accessory tendons showed no clear differences by gender, age, or right and left specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Tendons / anatomy & histology*
  • Tenosynovitis / pathology*
  • Thumb / anatomy & histology
  • Wrist Joint / anatomy & histology*