Perforation of Axillary Vein by a Branch of the Axillary Artery - an Anatomical Study

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Anita Mahajan; K. K. Rana & S. Saha


Anatomical variations in the region of axilla and pectoral region are very common. These variations need attention to avoid complications arising during surgeries and diagnostic and interventional invasive procedures in this region such as surgeries for breast carcinoma, venous access during central venous line, pacemaker and cardiac defibrillator implantation etc. During routine cadaveric dissection we had noticed a rare variation of axillary vein and artery. In this case axillary vein, just deep to the inferior border of pectoralis minor was pierced by the lateral thoracic artery, a branch of axillary artery. Perforation of the axillary vein by a branch of the axillary artery is extremely rare variation encountered till now. We report a variation wherein the lateral thoracic artery a branch of the second part of axillary artery was unusually long and perforated the axillary vein, just posterior to the inferior border of pectoralis minor muscle before supplying the structures in the anterolateral chest wall. Histological findings revealed duplication of lumen at the site of perforation through which the lateral thoracic artery was passing and the surrounding area was sealed by the connective tissue. Sound knowledge of anatomy of axillary and pectoral region may help in reducing complications while doing surgical and diagnostic procedure in these regions.

KEY WORDS: Axilla; Arterial anomaly; Venous anomaly.

How to cite this article

MAHAJAN, A.; RANA, K. K. & SAHA, S. Perforation of axillary vein by a branch of the axillary artery- an anatomical study. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):579-582, 2012.