Author(s): Riekkinen HV, Karkola KO, Kankainen A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The radial artery is presently widely used as a bypass graft for coronary artery reconstruction. However, the traditional opinion that the ulnar artery is the larger forearm artery has been questioned. METHODS: The internal diameters of the radial and ulnar arteries were measured at the wrist in postmortem angiograms of 24 cadavers. Differences in mean values of variables between ulnar and radial arteries were analyzed using the Wilcoxon test. RESULTS: The mean diameter of the radial artery was 28\% larger than that of the ulnar artery in the right arm (p < 0.001) and 26\% larger in the left arm (p < 0.001). In the right arm the radial artery was dominant in 20 of 24 cadavers (83\%), the ulnar artery in 3 of 24 (13\%), and the arteries were equal in 1 of 24 (4\%). In the left arm the figures were 17 of 24 cadavers (71\%), 3 of 24 (13\%), and 4 of 24 (17\%), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In view of the present investigation the radial artery should be considered the larger forearm artery of the hand in most patients.
This article was published in Ann Thorac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research