Purpose: The purpose of this study is to characterize the division of the median nerve by the persistent median artery (PMA) and highlight the associated clinical implications. Penetration of the median nerve by the PMA is believed to cause compression of the median nerve and affect nerve conduction velocity. This paper explored whether the origin and the pattern of PMA dictate its ability to divide the median nerve. Methods: Origin, and relationship of the PMA to the median nerve were documented in 60 cadavers donated to the Human Anatomy Program at UT Health San Antonio. Entire path of this artery was followed in the forearm and the hand. Results: Twenty-five cases of a persistent median artery (PMA) were found in the upper limbs (20.83%; 25/120) of these donated cadavers. Most of the persistent median arteries originated from the ulnar artery (48%; 12/25) and the others originated either from the anterior interosseous artery (36%; 9/25) or from the common interosseous artery (16%; 4/25). Sixty percent (15/25) of the persistent median arteries penetrated and divided the median nerve in the forearm. Interestingly, all the persistent median arteries that originated from the ulnar artery (100%; 12/12) divided the median nerve in the forearm and a palmar type of PMA was found to be more likely to divide the median nerve. Conclusion: Clinicians performing surgeries in the forearm and hand need to be aware of this anomaly and should screen patients for the presence of this artery prior to surgical intervention.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Median nerve
- Persistent median artery
- Pronator teres syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging