Anatomical variations of the superficial ulnar artery: case series observed on historical specimens prepared by Ludwik Karol Teichmann

Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2022;81(1):227-233. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2021.0014. Epub 2021 Feb 12.


Background: This report presents a series of cases representing variant origin and course of the ulnar artery, namely the superficial ulnar artery (SUA), observed during the review of collection of historical specimens prepared in the 19th century by the prominent Polish anatomist Ludwik Karol Teichmann and his collaborators, exhibited in the Anatomy Museum of Jagiellonian University Medical College.

Results: Three distinct variants of the SUA were found on anatomical specimens of the upper limb with arteries injected by using Teichmann's method. In case no. 1, the SUA originated from the brachial artery slightly above the interepicondylar line of the humerus. This aberrant vessel gave off the common interosseous artery in the upper half of the cubital fossa and then ran superficially to the bicipital aponeurosis and over the muscles arising from the medial epicondyle of the humerus. The cases no. 2 and 3 involved two similar variants of the superficial artery in which the common interosseous artery arose from the radial artery. In the unique case no. 4, the SUA arose from the radial artery.

Conclusions: The SUA shows diverse anatomy regarding its topography and blood supply territory. Orthopaedic, hand, and plastic surgeons should be aware of anatomic variations of the SUA both in planning and in conducting surgeries of the upper limb.

Keywords: anatomic variation; arteries; brachial artery; common interosseous artery; radial artery; superficial brachioulnoradial artery; superficial ulnar artery; ulnar artery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Cadaver
  • Hand* / blood supply
  • Humans
  • Radial Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Tendons
  • Ulnar Artery* / anatomy & histology