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origin: terminal branch of the brachial artery
location: inferior aspect of the cubital fossa
The ulnar artery courses along the ulnar aspect of the forearm deep to the flexor digitorum superficialis, pronator teres and flexor carpi radialis muscles. Proximally it is superficial to brachialis and flexor digitorum profundus but it then courses between flexor digitorum superficialis and flexor carpi ulnaris for the majority of its course.
It enters the hand with the ulnar nerve and vein by passing through the Guyon canal (ulnar canal) located between the pisiform and the hook of hamate. It then divides into its terminal branches at the carpal region of the hand 1,3.
The main branches of the ulnar artery include the anterior and posterior ulnar recurrent arteries, the common interosseous, the palmar carpal arch, the superficial palmar arch, and the dorsal carpal branch 1.
The ulnar artery terminates at the hand via its branches; the palmar carpal arch, the superficial palmar arch, and the dorsal carpal branch 1.
The ulnar artery supplies the periarticular anastomoses of the elbow via the anterior and posterior ulnar recurrent arteries. It also supplies the medial and central forearm muscles, the median and ulnar nerves, and the common flexor sheath 1.
There may be a persistent median artery from the common or anterior interosseous arteries which accompanies the median nerve through the carpal tunnel.