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Superior Lateral Genicular Artery
Cardiovascular System

Superior Lateral Genicular Artery

Arteria superior lateralis genus

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Quick Facts

Origin: The popliteal artery within the popliteal fossa.

Course: Runs laterally to the anterior aspect of the knee joint.

Branches: Superficial and deep branches.

Supplied Structures: Vastus lateralis muscle, knee joint, and surrounding fascia.

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Origin

The superior medial and lateral genicular arteries are the most proximal vessels that arise from the popliteal artery within the popliteal fossa. In up to 40% of individuals, the superior lateral and medial genicular arteries arise as a single trunk (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).

Course

The superior lateral genicular artery crosses deep to the lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle and the tendon of the biceps femoris muscle. It passes deep to the tibial nerve within the popliteal fossa and deep to the common fibular nerve in the lateral aspect of the distal thigh. It winds around the lateral femoral condyle and approaches the anterior aspect of the knee.

Branches

The superior lateral genicular artery gives rise to deep and superficial branches. Its superficial branch pierces vastus lateralis muscle and anastomoses with the descending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery and the inferior lateral genicular artery.

Its deep branch anastomoses with the superior medial genicular artery and crosses the femur to form an arch across the anterior knee joint (Standring, 2016).

Supplied Structures

The superior lateral genicular artery contributes to the genicular anastomosis which supplies the knee joint. The superficial branch of the superior lateral genicular artery contributes to the supply of the vastus lateralis muscle.

References

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

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

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