Variant origin of the lateral circumflex femoral artery in a black Kenyan population.

Sinkeet SR, Ogeng'o JA, Elbusaidy H, Olabu BO, Irungu MW. "Variant origin of the lateral circumflex femoral artery in a black Kenyan population." Folia Morphol. (Warsz). 2012;71(1):15-8.


Variant origin of lateral circumflex femoral artery (FA) is important during harvesting of anterolateral thigh flaps, aortopopliteal by-pass, coronary artery grafting, and vascularised iliac transplant. The frequencies of variant origins display ethnic variations, but reports from black Africans are scarce. This study, therefore, aimed to describe the variant origins of lateral circumflex FA in a black Kenyan population. Eighty-four (42 right and 42 left) lateral femoral circumflex arteries from 42 cadavers (31 male and 11 female) were exposed by dissection of the femoral triangles at the Department of Human Anatomy, University of Nairobi. The arteries were then traced proximally to their parent trunks. Sites of origin were recorded and representative images of the variations taken using a high-resolution digital camera. Data were analysed using Statistical Program for Social Scientists version 16.0 for Windows and presented in tables and macrographs. The lateral circumflex artery was a branch of the profunda femoris in only 65.5% of cases. Variant origins included from a common trunk with medial circumflex artery (14.3%), with profunda femoris (10.7%), as a trifurcation with profunda femoris and medial circumflex FA (7.1%), and from FA (2.4%). Variant origin of the lateral circumflex FA occurred in nearly 35% of the Kenyan population studied, much lower than in oriental populations. The most frequent variant origin is as a common trunk with medial circumflex femoral and profunda femoris, with a very low prevalence of origin from FA. The unusual origins make the artery more vulnerable to iatrogenic injury during surgery and catheterisation. Preoperative angiographic evaluation of the femoral arterial system is recommended.

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