Patterns of connections between the musculocutaneous and median nerves in the axilla and arm

David Choi, Marc Rodríguez-Niedenführ, Teresa Vázquez, Ian Parkin, José R. Sañudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variations in connections between the musculocutaneous and median nerves in the arm are not as uncommon as was once thought. This opinion led us to perform a study in 138 cadavers (66 male, 72 female). These variations were seen in 64 cadavers (46.4%), 9 bilaterally and 55 unilaterally (26 right and 29 left); in total, therefore, variations were observed in 73 out of 276 arms (26.4%), 42 male and 31 female. No statistically significant differences by gender and side were observed. We classify the variations in three main patterns: Pattern 1, fusion of both nerves (14 arms, 19.2%); Pattern 2, presence of one supplementary branch between both nerves (53 arms, 72.6%); and Pattern 3, two branches (5 arms, 6.8%). Pattern 2 was further subdivided into a sub-group 2a when a single root from the musculocutaneous nerve contributed to the connection (51 arms, 69.9%), and 2b when there were two roots from the musculocutaneous nerve (2 arms, 2.7%). A combination of Patterns 1 and 2a was observed in one case (1.4%). Further variations are described, published classification systems are reviewed and a meta-analysis of previous results is presented. An overall incidence of 33% of variant arms was observed. Of these variant arms, Pattern 1 represented 13.1%, Pattern 2 represented 75.4%, and Pattern 3, 8.5%, similar to our figures. Clin. Anat. 15:11-17, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2002

Keywords

  • Anatomical variation
  • Brachial plexus
  • Nerve connections

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