Society For Clinical Vascular Surgery

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The Superficial Radial Artery: Three Patients with a Rare Anatomic Variation
Nasim T. Babazadeh, MD1, Neha Sheng, MD1, Erin Farlow, MD1, Richard Keen, MD1, Shannon Zielsdorf, MD2.
1John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL, USA, 2Rush University Medical Center / Cook County Hospital System, Chicago, IL, USA.

OBJECTIVES: The superficial radial artery is a rare anatomic anomaly in which the radial artery passes superficial to the tendons of the anatomical snuffbox. Cadaver studies have shown its incidence to be 0.5-1%. Fewer than fifteen cases are reported in the literature. We aim to describe the clinical relevance of this anomaly.
METHODS: Three patients with this anatomic variation were encountered in our practice, and their clinical courses and anatomy are described.
RESULTS: One patient presented with digital ischemia after catheter placement in the anomalous radial artery. Two patients were found to have a superficial radial artery incidentally, during workup for arteriovenous fistula creation for end stage renal disease.
CONCLUSIONS: The clinical implications of the superficial radial artery anomaly include inadvertent catheter placement, causing digital ischemia and permanent loss of hand function. Additionally, radiocephalic arteriovenous fistula creation using the superficial radial artery is safe.

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