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A study of variations in the origin of profunda femoris artery and its circumflex branches

Authors:Daksha Dixit , Dharati M. Kubavat , Sureshbhai P. Rathod , Mital M. Patel , Tulsibhai . Singel
Int J Biol Med Res. 2011; 2(4): 1084 – 1089  |  PDF File


The knowledge of the variations in site of origin and course of the profunda femoris artery and its circumflex branches has great clinical importance during diagnostic imaging procedures as well as during surgeries that are performed in the femoral triangle. We dissected 228 femoral triangles in 114 human cadavers which revealed interesting variations apart from the usual description about these arteries that is available in standard anatomy textbooks. The most common site of origin of profunda femoris artery was from the posterolateral aspect of the femoral artery. A rare variation of the profunda femoris artery arising from either posterior or medial aspect of the femoral artery and then coursing superficial to femoral vein was found. The lateral circumflex femoral artery on the right side was absent in 1 Down’s syndrome female cadaver, but all its 3 branches were present and were arising from the profunda femoris artery. We also observed a very rare variation of lateral circumflex femoral artery arising from the external iliac artery. The medial circumflex femoral artery originated at a higher level from the profunda femoris artery as compared to the lateral circumflex femoral artery. The incidence of medial circumflex femoral artery arising from the femoral artery was higher than that of lateral circumflex femoral artery. Variations in the arterial patterns may be due to the divergence in the mode and proximo-distal level of branching or aberrant vessels that connect with the principal vessels, arcades or plexuses during the development of the blood vessels. Thus the knowledge of these variations can be of great help to the surgeons in reducing the chances of intra-operative secondary haemorrhage and post-operative complications.