Arteries and Veins of the Arm

  • Most arteries and veins in the body travel and are named together; the exceptions include the superficial veins of the extremities.
  • The arterial supply to the arm comes from one vessel branching off the aorta (subclavian artery on the left, and brachiocephalic trunk on the right). The name of the artery changes as it travels past certain landmarks; it sends smaller branches along its length until dividing into the two major branches near the elbow.
  • The terminal branches of the ulnar and radial arteries communicate with each other via two arches. These assure collateral circulation to the hands and fingers in case of damage.
  • The veins seen through the skin of the arm are unpaired superficial veins and have no analogous arteries.

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