Classification of the Musculocutaneous Nerve Fetuses

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K. Kupsamy; S. Ishwarkumar; B. Z. De Gama & P. Pillay


The musculocutaneous nerve is a terminating branch of lateral cord of the brachial plexus and is formed from spinal roots of C5, C6 and C7. The anatomical variations of the musculocutaneous nerve (MCN) are not common, literary reports have described the different course of the MCN in the arm, however very few fetal studies have been conducted on the variations of the MCN. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the course of the MCN in fetuses and document variations, if any. In this study, a sample size of twenty-five fetuses were bilaterally dissected (n=50) using a stereomicroscope. The anatomy of the MCN was described using a classification system generated based on the findings of this study. Ethical clearance was obtained from Biomedical Research Ethics Committte (BE385/17). Type I (normal anatomy) of the MCN was found in 42/50 (84 %) of specimens in this study. This study found a few variations, viz. 1/50 (2 %) case of Type II (absent), 1/50 (2 %) Type III (communication between the MCN and MN, from the MN to the MCN), 4/50 (8 %) cases of Type IV (communication from the MCN to the MN) and 2/50 (4 %) cases of Type V (communication from the MCN to the MN, where the MCN does not pierce the coracobrachialis muscle). Therefore, this study provides evidence of variations of the MCN in fetuses that may help surgeons in the interpretation of abnormal innervation patterns in the arm.

KEY WORDS: Musculocutaneous nerve; Fetal study; Classification; Variations.

How to cite this article

KUPSAMY, K.; ISHWARKUMAR, S.; DE GAMA, B. Z. & PILLAY, P. Classification of the musculocutaneous nerve in fetuses. Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):653-658, 2021.