The arteries of the upper limb supply the bones and soft tissues of the pectoral girdle, the lateral part of the thoracic wall, as well as all organs and tissues of the free part of the upper limb with blood.
In this video, we will consider the anatomy of the ulnar artery (arteria ulnar) and its branches, as well as the area of blood supply.
The ulnar artery (arteria ulnaris) is one of the terminal branches of the brachial artery (arteria brachialis).
Together with the ulnar nerve, it is located in the ulnar groove between the flexor digitorum superficialis and profundus muscle groups. Then, through a gap in the medial part of the flexor retinaculum and under the muscles of the hypothenar eminence, the ulnar artery passes into the palm.
This is where the superficial palmar arc (arcus palmaris superficialis) ends
It anastomoses with the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery.
Like most arteries, along its the entire length it gives rise to muscular branches (rami musculares), which supply the muscles of the forearm with blood.
Let’s consider the major branches of the vessel:
The ulnar recurrens artery (arteria recurrens ulnaris) arises in the proximal part of the ulnar artery and is divided into a large anterior and a smaller posterior branch.
The anterior branch (ramus anterior) goes in the superior direction into the medial anterior ulnar sulcus and anastomoses with the inferior ulnar collateral artery (branch of the brachial artery).
The posterior branch (ramus posterior) goes to the posterior side of the elbow joint, where it anastomoses in the medial posterior bicipital groove with the superior ulnar collateral artery (branch of the brachial artery).
The common interosseous artery (arteria interossea communis) arises slightly distal to the ulnar recurrent artery.
It goes towards the interosseous membrane, where it divides into two branches: the anterior and posterior interosseous arteries.
The anterior interosseous artery (arteria interossea anterior) is located along the anterior surface of the interosseous membrane to the upper edge of the pronator quadratus, gives a branch to the palmar arch of the wrist, penetrates the interosseous membrane in the distal part and participates in the formation of the dorsal carpal arch.
On the forearm, the median artery (arteria comitans nervi mediani) arises from it.
The posterior interosseous artery (arteria interossea posterior) pierces the interosseous membrane in the proximal part and goes in the distal direction between the extensors of the forearm.
It anastomoses with the anterior interosseous artery and with the dorsal carpal branches of the ulnar and radial arteries and participate in the formation of the dorsal carpal arch (rete carpalis dorsalis), from which the dorsal metacarpal arteries arise.
At its beginning, it gives off the recurrent interosseous artery (arteria interossea recurrens), which follows in the superior direction under the lateral tendon bundles of the triceps brachii muscle to the lateral posterior ulnar sulcus.
It anastomoses with the middle collateral artery (a branch of the deep brachial artery) and participates in the formation of the cubital anastomosis (rete articularis cubiti).
The next major branch, the palmar carpal branch (ramus carpalis palmaris) arises at the level of the styloid process of the ulna.
Together with the branches of the radial artery of the same name and the anterior interosseous artery, it participates in the formation of the palmar carpal arch (rete carpalis palmaris), supplying the joints with blood.
The deep palmar branch (ramus palmaris profundus) pierces the opponens digiti minimi muscle along its length and supplies the muscles of the eminence and the skin in the hypothenar region with blood.
The terminal part of the ulnar artery anastomoses with the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery, forming a superficial palmar arch, from which the common palmar digital arteries (arteriae digitales palmares communes) arise.
From these arteries, in turn, proper palmar digital arteries (arteriae digitales palmares proprii) arise to adjacent sides of adjacent fingers.
Ulnar artery and its branches
- Brachial artery
- a. brachialis
- Ulnar artery
- a. ulnaris
- Superficial palmar arch
- arcus palmaris superficialis
- Muscular branches
- rr. musculares
- Ulnar recurrent artery
- a. recurrens ulnaris
- Anterior branch
- r. anterior
- Posterior branch
- r. posterior
- Common interosseousartery
- a. interossea communis
- Anterior interosseous artery
- a. interossea anterior
- Median artery
- a. comitans nervi mediani
- Posterior interosseousartery
- a. interossea posterior
- Dorsal carpal arch
- rete carpalis dorsalis
- Recurrent interosseousartery
- a. interossea recurrens
- Cubital anastomosis
- rete articularis cubiti
- Palmar carpal branch
- r. carpalis palmaris
- Palmar carpal arch
- rete carpalis palmaris
- Deep palmar branch
- r. palmaris profundus
- Common palmar digitalarteries
- aa. digitales palmarescommunes
- Proper palmar digitalarteries
- aa. digitales palmares proprii