Communicanting Branch Between Median and Ulnar Nerves in the Human Forearm

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Andrés Riveros; Enrique Olave & Mariano del Sol


The median-ulnar communicating branch (MUCB) is the communication that originates from the median nerve (MN) or one of its branches, to join the ulnar nerve (UN) in the human forearm. With a prevalence that oscillates between 8% and 32%, when this MUCB is present, it establishes that axons from the MN move to the UN, modifying the normal innervation of the muscles of the hand. Our aim was to determine the prevalence, biometry and topography and anatomical relationships of the MUCB. Additionally, the coexistence of this MUCB with other connections between the MN and UN was established. A descriptive, quantitative, non experimental and transectional study was conducted. Thirty adult human forearms belonging to the cadaveric donation program of the Pontificia Universidad Católi- ca de Chile were dissected. The samples were fixed in formalin and stored at 4 °C. The MUCB appeared in 5 cases (17%). Of these, three originated from the anterior interosseous nerve (60%) and two (40%) arose from the branch that the MN gives it to the superficial muscles of the anterior compartment of the forearm. These were classified according to the literature consulted, obtaining that Group Ic occurred in three cases (60%), and Group Ia in two (40%). The average MUCB length was 53.9 mm. The origin of the MUCB was on average 21% of the length of the forearm from the biepicondylar line. The connection of this MUCB with the UN was located on average at 44% from this line. In three cases (60%) the coexistence of the MUCB and a connection between the common palmar digital nerves was observed. These findings confirm that the RCMU is generally established between the anterior interosseous nerve of forearm and NU, and its presence could modify the nerve distribution of the hand.

KEY WORDS: Median nerve; Ulnar nerve; Communicating branch; Anatomical variation; Biometry.

How to cite this article

RIVEROS, A.; OLAVE, E. & DEL SOL M. Communicanting branch between median and ulnar nerves in the human forearm . Int. J. Morphol., 41(1):9-18, 2023.