J Knee Surg 2015; 28(05): 417-424
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1549021
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

A Cadaveric Study of the Branching Pattern and Diameter of the Genicular Arteries: A Focus on the Middle Genicular Artery

Shahab Shahid
1   Department of Anatomy, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
,
Noman Saghir
1   Department of Anatomy, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
,
Oliver Cawley
1   Department of Anatomy, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
,
Shyamal Saujani
1   Department of Anatomy, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
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Weitere Informationen

Publikationsverlauf

07. September 2014

02. Januar 2015

Publikationsdatum:
18. April 2015 (online)

Abstract

The aim of the study was to gain an appreciation of the variation in the branching pattern and diameter of the genicular arteries arising directly from the popliteal artery (PA), namely, the superior medial genicular artery (SMGA), superior lateral genicular artery (SLGA), inferior medial genicular artery (IMGA), inferior lateral genicular artery (ILGA), and middle genicular artery (MGA). Twenty cadaveric knees aged between 62 and 92 years were dissected. A posterior midline vertical incision was used to gain access to the PA. The diameter of the PA, the sequence of branching, and subsequent diameter of genicular vessels and common trunks were recorded. PA average diameter was 7.9 mm. The SMGA (1.6-mm diameter) was the first branch in 45% and the second branch in 20%, and in seven limbs it arose from a common trunk with the SLGA. The SLGA was the second branch in 30% and the first branch in 25%, and it branched from a common trunk in 45%. The MGA (1.1-mm diameter) arose as the second branch in four knees and as the third branch in eight knees. It arose from a common trunk in eight knees, either with a superior genicular (three knees) or with an inferior genicular (five knees). The IMGA (1.5-mm diameter) was the third branch in 25%, the fourth branch in 35%, and the fifth branch in 15%. In five cases, it arose from a common trunk (25%). The ILGA (1.4-mm diameter) was the third branch in 15%, the fourth branch in 30%, and the fifth branch in 25%. It arose from a common trunk in six knees. These trunks also gave rise to the IMGA in all cases. There is extensive variation in the branching pattern and diameter of the genicular arteries differing from textbook descriptions. An awareness of vascular variation is imperative for preservation of the blood supply to the knee, which may promote recovery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and popliteal aneurysm repair.