Background: Knowledge of the variations in the arterial supply of hand has reached a point of practical importance with the advent of microvascular surgery for revascularization, replantation and composite tissue transfers. Superficial palmar arch has many interesting variations, of them the median artery contribution is been evaluated in the present study. Method: 100 cadaveric hands of 50 cadavers were dissected and their formation and pattern was recorded according to Coleman and Anson classification, 1961 and photographed. The present study highlights particularly the median artery contribution in the formation of superficial palmar arch. Results: In the present study 4% of specimens showed medianoulnar type of incomplete superficial palmar arch. This observation had a unilateral presentation seen in only right hand of four adult male cadavers. The left hand of these specimens showed ulnar type of complete arch. Conclusion: The median artery is a transitory vessel that represents the arterial axis of the forearm during early embryonic life. It normally regresses in the second embryonic month Its persistence in the human adult has been recorded in different patterns: as a large, long vessel (palmar type) which reaches the hand is the focus of present study The clinical importance of the persistence of this artery at wrist level is well documented as a cause of the carpal tunnel syndrome, but it has also been associated with the `pronator teres syndrome' in cases where the persistent median artery pierces the median nerve in the proximal third of the forearm.
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