Anatomical and electrophysiological myotomes corresponding to the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle

J Korean Med Sci. 2010 Mar;25(3):454-7. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2010.25.3.454. Epub 2010 Feb 17.


This study was designed to investigate the incidence of lateral root of the ulnar nerve through cadaveric dissection and to analyze its impact on myotomes corresponding to the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) assessed by electrodiagnostic study. Dissection of the brachial plexus (BP) was performed in 38 arms from 19 cadavers, and the connecting branches between the lateral cord and medial cord (or between lateral cord and ulnar nerve) were investigated. We also reviewed electrodiagnostic reports from January 2006 to May 2008 and selected 106 cases of single-level radiculopathy at C6, C7, and C8. The proportion of abnormal needle electromyographic findings in the FCU was analyzed in these patients. In the cadaver study, branches from the lateral cord to the ulnar nerve or to the medial cord were observed in 5 (13.1%) of 38 arms. The incidences of abnormal electromyographic findings in the FCU were 46.2% (36/78) in C7 radiculopathy, 76.5% (13/17) in C8 radiculopathy and 0% (0/11) in C6 radiculopathy. In conclusion, the lateral root of the ulnar nerve is not an uncommon anatomical variation of the BP and the FCU commonly has the C7 myotome. Needle EMG of the FCU may provide more information for the electrodiagnosis of cervical radiculopathy and brachial plexopathy.

Keywords: Brachial Plexus; Electromyography; Radiculopathy; Ulnar Nerve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus / anatomy & histology
  • Brachial Plexus / physiology
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / diagnosis
  • Cadaver
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Female
  • Forearm / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Radiculopathy / diagnosis
  • Ulnar Nerve / anatomy & histology*
  • Ulnar Nerve / physiology