Anatomical Analysis of Cutaneous Perforator Distribution in the Forearm

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Few reports describe the distribution of cutaneous perforators from the radial and ulnar arteries in the forearm. This study aimed to map the location of the cutaneous perforators that arise directly from the radial and ulnar arteries in cadavers.


Twenty-nine human cadaveric forearms were dissected. All radial and ulnar arteries cutaneous perforators were analyzed for total number and distribution. To define the distribution of each cutaneous perforator, the forearm was divided into 10 sections, with the sections labeled as 10%, 20%, 30%, and so on, beginning at the wrist.


From the radial artery, there were a total of 262 skin perforators with an average of 9.03 ± 2.28 (mean ± SD) per limb, whereas the total was 159 from the ulnar artery, with an average of 5.48 ± 1.49 per limb. Additionally, 128 (49%) radial artery cutaneous perforators and 75 (47%) from the ulnar artery were concentrated in the 0–30% section of the forearm. Both the radial and ulnar arteries had many cutaneous perforators in the forearm section labeled 70%, with 32 of 262 (12%) cutaneous perforators of the radial artery and 27 of 159 (17%) cutaneous perforators of the ulnar artery located here.


There were more cutaneous perforators from the radial artery than from the ulnar artery, and both were concentrated in the distal one-third of the forearm and in the forearm section labeled 70%. This information could be helpful when harvesting forearm flaps.

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