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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


NAIDOO, N et al. Arterial Supply to the Rotator Cuff Muscles. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2014, vol.32, n.1, pp.136-140. ISSN 0717-9502.

The arterial supply to the rotator cuff muscles is generally provided by the subscapular, circumflex scapular, posterior circumflex humeral and suprascapular arteries. This study involved the bilateral dissection of the scapulohumeral region of 31 adult and 19 fetal cadaveric specimens. The subscapularis muscle was supplied by the subscapular, suprascapular and circumflex scapular arteries. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles were supplied by the suprascapular artery. The infraspinatus and teres minor muscles were found to be supplied by the circumflex scapular artery. In addition to the branches of these parent arteries, the rotator cuff muscles were found to be supplied by the dorsal scapular, lateral thoracic, thoracodorsal and posterior circumflex humeral arteries. The variations in the arterial supply to the rotator cuff muscles recorded in this study are unique and were not described in the literature reviewed. Due to the increased frequency of operative procedures in the scapulohumeral region, the knowledge of variations in the arterial supply to the rotator cuff muscles may be of practical importance to surgeons and radiologists.

Keywords : Arterial supply; Variations; Rotator cuff muscles; Parent arteries.

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