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Brachial Artery
Cardiovascular System

Brachial Artery

Arteria brachialis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Continuation of the axillary artery.

Course: Distally along the medial aspect of the arm to the cubital fossa.

Branches: Deep brachial, superior collateral ulnar, inferior collateral ulnar, radial, and ulnar arteries, nutrient artery to the humerus.

Supplied Structures: Musculocutaneous supply of the arm, the humerus, collateral supply to the proximal humerus and the elbow joint.

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Origin

The brachial artery arises as a continuation of the axillary artery at the inferior border of the teres major muscle.

Course

The brachial artery is relatively subcutaneous as it courses distally along the medial aspect of the arm. Proximally, it sits medial to the coracobrachialis, biceps brachii, and brachialis muscles. As it descends, the triceps brachii muscle sits posterior to the brachial artery. The median nerve is lateral to the brachial artery in the proximal arm, but it crosses the artery anteriorly and becomes medial near the mid-point of the arm.

Distally, the brachial artery becomes anterior and travels deep to the bicipital aponeurosis into the cubital fossa. It terminally bifurcates into the radial and ulnar arteries, approximately 1 cm distal to the elbow joint at the level of the radial neck (Standring, 2016).

Branches

The branches of the brachial artery include:

- deep brachial artery which descends along the posterior aspect of the arm;

- nutrient artery to the humerus, which enters the humerus at the level of the distal attachment of the coracobrachialis muscle;

- superior and inferior ulnar collateral arteries, which provide additional vascular routes to the elbow joint;

- muscular branches to the muscles of the anterior aspect of the arm (biceps brachii, coracobrachialis, and brachialis muscles);

- terminal bifurcation producing the radial and ulnar arteries, which continue distally through the forearm.

Supplied Structures

The brachial artery supplies the humerus, biceps brachii, coracobrachialis, and brachialis muscles. It gives branches to supply the forearm and gives collateral supply to the proximal humerus and the elbow. Its terminal branches, the radial and ulnar arteries, continue distally to supply the forearm and hand.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Brachial artery catherization

- Brachial artery occlusion

- Blood pressure measurement

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Brachial Artery

ScienceDirect image

The brachial artery FMD of hypertensive individuals improves with the use of converting enzyme inhibitors, as they increase NO availability and reduce bradykinin degradation, which causes vasodilation by activating endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors [81–83].

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