Brachial artery

The brachial artery is the major blood vessel of the (upper) arm. It is the continuation of the axillary artery beyond the lower margin of teres major muscle. It continues down the ventral surface of the arm until it reaches the cubital fossa at the elbow. It then divides into the radial and ulnar arteries which run down the forearm.[1][2] In some individuals, the bifurcation occurs much earlier and the ulnar and radial arteries extend through the upper arm. The pulse of the brachial artery is palpable on the anterior aspect of the elbow, medial to the tendon of the biceps, and, with the use of a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) often used to measure the blood pressure.[1]

Brachial artery
The brachial artery.
Right upper limb, anterior view, brachial artery and elbow.
Sourceaxillary artery
BranchesProfunda brachii
Superior ulnar collateral artery
Inferior ulnar collateral artery
Radial artery
Ulnar artery
Veinbrachial vein
Suppliesbiceps brachii muscle, triceps brachii muscle, coracobrachialis
Latinarteria brachialis
Anatomical terminology

The brachial artery is closely related to the median nerve; in proximal regions, the median nerve is immediately lateral to the brachial artery. Distally, the median nerve crosses the medial side of the brachial artery and lies anterior to the elbow joint.[1][3]


The brachial artery gives rise to the following branches:[3]

It also gives rise to important anastomotic networks of the elbow and (as the axillary artery) the shoulder.

The biceps head is lateral to the brachial artery. The median nerve is medial to the brachial artery for most of its course.

Additional images

See also


  1. Gray's anatomy : the anatomical basis of clinical practice. Standring, Susan, (Forty-first ed.). [Philadelphia]. ISBN 9780702052309. OCLC 920806541.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. "Brachial artery". Kenhub. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  3. Moore, Keith L.,. Clinically oriented anatomy. Dalley, Arthur F., II,, Agur, A. M. R., (Seventh ed.). Philadelphia. ISBN 1451119453. OCLC 813301028.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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