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BMC Surg. 2014 Jun 26;14:39. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-14-39.

Anatomical study of simple landmarks for guiding the quick access to humeral circumflex arteries.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, No, 321 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing China.



The posterior and anterior circumflex humeral artery (PCHA and ACHA) are crucial for the blood supply of humeral head. We aimed to identify simple landmarks for guiding the quick access to PCHA and ACHA, which might help to protect the arteries during the surgical management of proximal humeral fractures.


Twenty fresh cadavers were dissected to measure the distances from the origins of PCHA and ACHA to the landmarks (the acromion, the coracoid, the infraglenoid tubercle, the midclavicular line) using Vernier calipers.


The mean distances from the origin of PCHA to the infraglenoid tubercle, the coracoid, the acromion and the midclavicular line were 27.7 mm, 50.2 mm, 68.4 mm and 75.8 mm. The mean distances from the origin of ACHA to the above landmarks were 26.9 mm, 49.2 mm, 67.0 mm and 74.9 mm.


Our study provided a practical method for the intraoperative identification as well as quick access of PCHA and ACHA based on a series of anatomical measurements.

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