Anterior Interosseous Nerve: Course, Distribution and Clinical Implications

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Riveros, A.; Olave, E. & Sousa-Rodrigues, C.


The main branch of the median nerve in the forearm is the anterior interosseous nerve (NIA), which innervates most of the muscles of the deep plane of the anterior compartment of the forearm. There are different descriptions about the point of origin and its course, which can determine a potential entrapment of it in its transit through the arcs formed in the heads of origin of the pronator round and flexor digitorum of the fingers muscles, as well as with regard to communicating branches of the NIA with other nerves of the forearm. The aim was to determine the point of origin, course, innervated muscles and presence of communicating branches of the NIA with other nerves of the forearm. 30 forearms of Brazilian adult corpses fixed in formalin belonging to the UNCISAL anatomy laboratory were used, Maceió, Brazil. The point of origin of the NIA reached an average of 46 mm with a standard deviation of 17.54 mm, distal to the biepicondilar line. In 37 % of the cases, this nerve originated in the existing section of the muscular arches mentioned and in 23 % it arose proximal to the location of these. In all cases, the NIA inervated the flexor digitorum profundus and pronator quadratus and 93 % also inervated the flexor pollicis longus. One case presented a communicating branch between the NIA and the ulnar nerve. In 10 % of the cases, he presented the variant muscle accessory head of the flexor pollicis longus. All these findings should be considered at the time of correctly diagnosing the different entrapment syndromes that affect both the NIA and the median nerve in the ulnar region and the forearm. Likewise, the success of surgical procedures in these regions is subject to a detailed knowledge of the course and distribution of these nerves.

KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Innervation; Anterior interosseous nerve; Communicating branch; Anatomical variations.

How to cite this article

RIVEROS, A.; OLAVE, E. & SOUSA-RODRIGUES, C. Anterior Interosseous nerve: Course, distribution and clinical implications. Int. J. Morphol., 36(3):1079-1086, 2018.