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Arcuate Artery of Foot
Cardiovascular System

Arcuate Artery of Foot

Arteria arcuata pedis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Dorsalis pedis artery.

Course: Passes laterally in an arch across the base of the metatarsal bones.

Branches: Dorsal metatarsal arteries.

Supplied Structures: Dorsum of the foot and the lateral four digits.

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The arcuate artery arises from the dorsalis pedis artery. There are many variations of the arcuate artery, which are related to the variations of the dorsalis pedis artery.

- In approximately one third of individuals, the arcuate artery arises at the first metatarsal joint where it tends to give off the second to fourth dorsal metatarsal arteries.

- In approximately one fifth of individuals, the arcuate artery arises at the cuneonavicular joint.

- In one third of individuals the arcuate artery is absent (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).


The arcuate artery forms an arch as it travels laterally along the proximal portion of the metatarsals. The artery sits deep to the extensor digitorum longus and brevis muscles.

It may terminate in the lateral aspect of the foot, where it may form an anastomosis with the lateral tarsal artery and plantar arteries.


The arcuate artery gives off the second to fourth dorsal metatarsal arteries, which travel distally over the dorsal interossei muscles. They then bifurcate into two dorsal digital branches, which run distally on both the medial and lateral aspects of adjacent toes.

Supplied Structures

The arcuate artery contributes to the supply of the dorsum of the foot.


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

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

When the artery is occluded blood is forced through the collateral vessels, drastically increasing fluid shear stress and triggering an inflammatory response which drives vessel remodeling.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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