Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Radial Artery: A Very Rare Variation in Humans - Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Aspects

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In an 80-year-old Caucasian woman, both radial arteries were found to be replaced by an enlarged anterior interosseous artery. Additionally, the right forearm revealed a persistent median artery which formed the superficial palmar arch together with the ulnar artery. In both hands, the replaced radial artery was connected only to the deep but not the superficial palmar arch. In clinical practice, lack of an arterial pulse on the radial aspect of the wrist joint may indicate the presence of this anatomic variation. In this case, arterial blood sample collections, application of contrast media, invasive measurements of blood pressure, and several angiographic interventions cannot be performed via the radial artery. As this is the fourth reported case since 1830, bilateral aplasia of the radial artery appears to be an exceptional variation in humans. Thus, the phylo- and ontogenetic aspects of this anomaly are discussed.

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