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Anterior Circumflex Humeral Artery
Cardiovascular System

Anterior Circumflex Humeral Artery

Arteria circumflexa anterior humeri

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Quick Facts

Origin: Axillary artery (third part).

Course: Laterally across the anterior surface of the humerus, at the level of the surgical neck, deep to the coracobrachialis and short head of the biceps brachii muscles.

Branches: Anastomoses with the posterior circumflex humeral artery.

Supplied Structures: Deltoid, biceps brachii, and coracobrachialis muscles, glenohumeral joint; head of humerus, cutaneous supply to area overlying the proximal humerus anteriorly.

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Origin

The anterior circumflex humeral artery arises from the lateral aspect of the third part of the axillary artery, at the level of the inferior border of the subscapularis muscle. In about 20% of individuals, the anterior and t posterior circumflex arteries originate from a common trunk (Tubbs et al., 2016).

Course

The anterior circumflex humeral artery courses laterally, horizontally, deep to the deltoid muscle. Near its origin, it sits deep to the coracobrachialis and the short head of the biceps brachii muscle, and anterior to the proximal humerus.

It traverses the anterior aspect of the surgical neck of the humerus and the long head of the biceps brachii muscle. It continues to wind around the humeral neck and unites with the posterior circumflex humeral artery.

Branches

At the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus, the anterior circumflex humeral artery gives off an ascending branch. It anastomoses with the posterior circumflex humeral artery to complete a humeral ring.

Supplied Structures

The anterior circumflex humeral artery contributes to the supply of the deltoid, biceps brachii, and coracobrachialis muscles, the glenohumeral joint, the proximal humeral head, and the skin overlying the anterior aspect of the proximal humerus.

References

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

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