Anatomical Variation of the Radial Artery Associated With Clinically Significant Ischemia

Elizabeth M. Polfer, Jennifer M. Sabino, Aviram M. Giladi, James P. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective review was to investigate the incidence of radial artery anatomical variations in patients with clinically significant distal upper extremity (UE) ischemia. Available anatomical studies report that high takeoff of the radial artery occurs in up to 15% of the population. We hypothesized that there is a higher incidence of high origin of the radial artery in patients with clinically significant ischemia compared with the reported frequency in the general population. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent UE angiography for clinically significant hand and digital ischemia in our institution from 2012 to 2016. Data collected included patient age, sex, comorbidities, and modality of treatment. Results: Twenty-six angiograms were performed for UE ischemia meeting inclusion criteria. Eight patients had Raynaud disease or scleroderma. Ten patients (38%) had high radial artery takeoff with radial artery origin proximal to the antecubital fossa. The need for surgical intervention was similar in patients with normal anatomy and those with high takeoff of the radial artery. Conclusions: Incidence of high radial artery takeoff was found more frequently in patients with distal UE ischemia requiring angiogram than in reported population data. Type of study/level of evidence: Diagnostic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952.e1-952.e5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Radial artery
  • upper extremity ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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