Brachial Artery – Overview of Arterial Supply to Upper Limb

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 So the brachial artery begins at the inferior border of teres major, like I said, a direct continuation of the axillary artery. It passes through the arm anterior to triceps and brachialis.

    00:14 So it’s found in a cleft between biceps brachii and brachialis. So we can just about make out brachialis here. And here, we have biceps and it’s running in a cleft between those two muscles. It gives off lateral branches, and these are numerous unnamed branches, these are the ones I referred to here, and they go to the muscles of the anterior compartment.

    00:40 Coming off laterally as well is the nutrient artery to the humerus. We had a nutrient artery to the clavicle, so we have a nutrient artery to the humerus. Coming away from its more medial aspect, we have profunda brachii. And profunda brachii is an important muscle as it supplies the posterior compartment. So we have profunda brachii. We can just about make out that passing here. We’ll see that in greater detail when we look at the posterior compartment. But it also gives rise to some superior and inferior ulnar collateral branches.

    01:17 And we can see these coming here. We can see a superior ulnar collateral artery running down, and we can see an inferior ulnar collateral artery. And these arteries are important as they’re going to form anastomosis around the elbow joint. And we’ll see that when we look at the elbow joint in more detail. But some of these branches come from the brachial artery.

    01:40 These are the superior and inferior collateral branches. So now let’s look at the posterior aspect of the arm, and also the axilla and some of these scapular branches that I’ve been talking about. Here in the diagram, we can see the posterior aspect of the upper limb, its shoulder region and the humerus in the arm region here on the right upper limb. So we can see that the blood supply to this region is going to be from the third part of the axillary artery. We have the posterior circumflex artery. Remember, this one is passing through the quadrangular space. Here, we have the quadrangular space. Remember the boundaries of the quadrangular space. Laterally, we have the surgical neck of the humerus. Medially, we have the long head of triceps. Superiorly, we have teres minor. And inferiorly, we have teres major. We have it passing out in this direction passing towards the deltoid muscle.

    02:44 So we’ve got the posterior circumflex artery passing out alongside the axillary nerve within the quadrangular space. Then we can see we have this circumflex scapular artery.

    03:00 The circumflex scapular artery comes from the subscapular artery that we mentioned, and that runs over the posterior surface of the scapula. And we can see it’s running over the posterior surface of the scapula, the circumflex scapular artery, and that’s anastomosing with the suprascapular artery. And the suprascapular artery is running over that suprascapular notch that we mentioned in the first lecture. So we've got the suprascapular artery and we’ve got the circumflex scapular artery and these are forming a complex anastomosis around the scapula. If we then look at branches coming from the brachial artery, then the most important one of these is profunda brachii. This is running alongside the radial nerve and they leave the axilla by passing through the triangular interval posterior compartment of the arm.

    03:58 They enter the posterior compartment of the arm by running through the triangular interval.

    04:03 We can see the triangular interval here. As it’s running down the profunda brachii between the medial and lateral heads of triceps brachii, we can see it here, it gives rise to a series of collateral arteries, and these are collateral arteries. We’ve got a medial, we’ve got a radial collateral artery, and we’ve got some anterior branches of the radial collateral artery here. These are all passing down to anastomose around the elbow joint. So that they will form important anastomosis around the elbow joint as they’re running distally towards the elbow. And these are coming off the anterior and posterior, radial collateral arteries coming from the profunda brachii artery. So now let’s move into the forearm,

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Brachial Artery – Overview of Arterial Supply to Upper Limb by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Upper Limb Anatomy.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Humerus
    2. Clavicle
    3. Radius
    4. Ulna
    5. Scapula
    1. The superior boundary is formed by the teres major
    2. The superior boundary is formed by the teres minor
    3. The lateral boundary is formed by the surgical neck of the humerus
    4. The medial boundary is formed by the long head of the triceps
    5. The inferior boundary is formed by the teres major

    Author of lecture Brachial Artery – Overview of Arterial Supply to Upper Limb

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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