Author(s): P. Venkateswara Rao1, A. Hemalatha Devi2

INTRODUCTION: Knowledge of the frequency of anatomical variations of arterial pattern of hand is crucial for safe and successful hand surgical approach, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The superficial pal mar arch is a major blood supply to the hand. Various anomalous patterns in the superficial arch of hand are reported. The superficial pal mar arch is formed predominantly by ulnar artery with a contribution from superficial branch of radial artery.

OBSERVATIONS: Superficial palmar arch is dissected within the palm and observed from its origin to termination. Variations in its origin, branches were observed. A classic superficial palmar arch was found in 10% [5/50]. Out of dissected specimens complete arch found in 67% and incomplete arch was 33%. Incomplete arch is formed by ulnar artery alone. It supply four and half fingers and give five branches. Majority of arches is supplied by three and half fingers and gives four branches.

DISCUSSION: Many attempts have been made to classify these variations. A complex classification of superficial pal mar arch by Coleman & Anson [1961]. Since then, many other classification have been suggested by different authors [Karlsson & Niechajev, 1982; al-Turk & Metcalf, 1984; Doscher et al. 1985; Ruengsakulrachh et al. 2001;] provides simplest understanding of distribution of the arches. Although the classical pattern of the arch occurs in frequently, anatomical presence of a complete superficial palmar arch varies from 84% to 66% [Coleman & Anson]. This incidence was lower in the current study and might be a reflection of sample size [52 hands]. The median artery was found in 10% of the hands, similar frequency to that reported by McCormack et al. [1953].

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