Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 899–902 | Cite as

A rare case of atypical thoracodorsal artery: a challenge for flap reconstruction

  • Naveen Kumar
  • Ashwini P. AithalEmail author
  • Satheesha B. Nayak
  • Ravi Bhaskar
Anatomic Variations


The thoracodorsal artery mainly supplies the latissimus dorsi muscle. Anatomical details pertaining to the origin and distribution of thoracodorsal artery are important because the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap is one of the most reliable and versatile flaps used in reconstructive surgery. Atypical origin and course of the thoracodorsal artery is, therefore, a challenge for flap reconstruction surgeries. In the present case, we report multiple variations in the branching pattern of axillary artery. The thoracodorsal artery had an unusual origin from the second part of axillary artery. The trunk of thoracoacromial artery was absent. The thoracodorsal artery after its origin, descended downwards over the lateral pectoral region lying deep to pectoralis minor but superficial to teres major muscles. It terminated by supplying the latissimus dorsi muscle. Due to the presence of atypical thoracodorsal branch, the subscapular artery continued as the circumflex scapular artery.


Thoracodorsal artery Latissimus dorsi Axillary artery Flap reconstruction surgery 



We wish to acknowledge Mr. Ganesh N Prasad, Artist, KMC, Manipal for the schematic diagram used in this report.

Author contributions

Protocol/project development: KN. Data collection or management: KN, AAP. Data analysis: KN, BR. Manuscript writing/editing: KN, NB, AAP.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naveen Kumar
    • 1
  • Ashwini P. Aithal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Satheesha B. Nayak
    • 1
  • Ravi Bhaskar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus)Manipal Academy of Higher EducationManipalIndia
  2. 2.Department of AnatomySrinivas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research CenterMangaloreIndia

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