Anatomical Study of the Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Flap

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Amal Yousif Ahmed Alhaj Mustafa & Wardah Abdullah Alasmari


The latissimus dorsi is a broad muscle that originates from the inferior thoracic spinous processes, thoracolumbar fascia, iliac crest, and inferior ribs. It inserts on the inferior aspect of the intertubercular groove of the humerus through a thin tendon. The study was conducted on 10 cadavers (7 male and 3 female). These specimens were dissected and examined to study the gross anatomical characteristics of the latissimus dorsi muscle. The dimensions of the latissimus dorsi muscle and its surface area were measured in all the cadavers. The branching pattern of the thoracodorsal vessels was recorded. The pedicle length and caliper were measured using Vernier calipers. On the 20 dissected sides, the thoracodorsal artery was found to be one of the terminal branches of the subscapular artery that originates in the axillary region. In 19 (95 %) cases, the thoracodorsal artery terminated in a bifurcation, giving off a medial and a lateral branch. The average size of the elevated flap of the latissimus dorsi muscle was 18 cm × 36 cm. The average pedicle length was 9.5 cm (range: 5 cm-14 cm), and the average diameter at its origin was 2.5 mm (range: 1.5 mm-3.5 mm). The average diameter of the vena comitans was 3.3 mm. The current study focuses on the anatomical features of the latissimus dorsi muscle and its blood supply to increase the success rate of operations in clinical practice.

KEY WORDS: latissimus dorsi muscle; thoracodorsal artery; thoracolumbar fascia.

How to cite this article

MUSTAFA, A. Y. A. A. & ALASMARI, W. A. Anatomical study of the latissimus dorsi muscle flap. Int. J. Morphol, 40(3):562-565, 2022.