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01.03.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2018 Open Access

Anatomical Science International 2/2018

Anatomical variations of the pronator teres muscle in a Central European population and its clinical significance

Anatomical Science International > Ausgabe 2/2018
Łukasz Olewnik, Michał Podgórski, Michał Polguj, Grzegorz Wysiadecki, Mirosław Topol


The pronator teres (PT) muscle is a forearm flexor with radial and ulnar heads. It is innervated by the median nerve (MN), which passes between these heads. Nerve entrapment, known as “PT syndrome”, may occur in this passage. Anatomical variations in this region may be potential risk factors of this pathology. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the relationship between morphologic variations of the PT and the MN. In 50 isolated, formalin-fixed upper limbs, the cubital region and the forearm were dissected. The following measurements were taken: origin of the PT muscle heads, the length of these heads, the length of the forearm, diameter of the MN and the number of its muscular branches to the pronator teres muscle. The forearms with the humeral head originating from the medial humeral epicondyle and medial intermuscular septum (72%) were significantly shorter (p = 0.0088) than those where the humeral head originated only from the medial humeral epicondyle. Moreover, in these specimens, the MN was significantly thinner (p = 0.003). The ulnar head was present in 43 limbs (86%). The MN passed between the heads of the PT muscle (74%) or under the muscle (26%). In the majority of cases, it provided two motor branches (66%). There is an association between the morphologic variation of the PT muscle heads and the course and branching pattern of the MN. Both are related to differences in forearm length. This may have an impact on the risk of PT syndrome and the performance of MN electrostimulation.

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