BRACHIAL ARTERY

INTRODUCTION:
  • The brachial artery is the major blood vessel of the (upper) arm. 
  • It is the continuation of the axillary artery beyond the lower margin of teres major muscle. 
  • It continues down the ventral surface of the arm until it reaches the cubital fossa at the elbow. 
  • It then divides into the radial and ulnar arteries which run down the forearm. 
  • In some individuals, the bifurcation occurs much earlier and the ulnar and radial arteries extend through the upper arm. 
  • Bicipital aponeurosis passes superficial to the brachial artery and median nerve 
BRANCHES:
  • Profunda brachii artery (deep brachial artery) 
  • Superior ulnar collateral artery 
  • Inferior ulnar collateral artery 
  • Radial artery (a terminal branch) 
  • Ulnar artery (a terminal branch) 
  • Nutrient branches to the humerus 
  • Important anastomotic networks of the elbow and (as the axillary artery) the shoulder. 
CLINICAL ANATOMY:
  • The pulse of the brachial artery is palpable on the anterior aspect of the elbow, medial to the tendon of the biceps, and, with the use of a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) often used to measure the blood pressure. 
  • Although it can be compressed anywhere along its course but most favourably in the middle of the arm where it lies on tendon of coracobrachialis 
  • In case of occlusion resulting from fracture of humerus immediate surgery is required. 
  • During venipuncture, the bicipital aponeurosis provides limited protection for brachial artery and median nerve 
Exam Question
  • Bicipital aponeurosis passes superficial to the brachial artery and median nerve 
  • used to measure the blood pressure 
  • In case of occlusion resulting from fracture of humerus immediate surgery is required.

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