Princeps pollicis artery

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 2 Aug 2021

The princeps pollicis artery (also known as the first palmar metacarpal artery) is a branch of the radial artery that supplies the thumb (1st digit). It arises from the radial artery just as it enters the palm and courses distally along the palmar aspect of 1st metacarpal. At the 1st metacarpophalangeal joint it bifurcates into two digital branches, radial and ulnar digital branches, that continue along the radial and ulnar aspects of the phalanges of the thumb respectively.

Variant anatomy

The radialis indicis artery may arise directly from the princeps pollicis artery rather than the deep palmar arch.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: arterial supply to the hand
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