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Arteries of upper limb

The main artery carrying blood to the upper limb is named successively subclavian, axillary, and brachial. In addition to its supply to the upper limb, it has branches supplying the pectoral and scapular regions, structures of the base of the neck and the vital structures of the brain stem. The arrangement of this vessel and its branches is summarized in the figure. The subclavian artery arches superior to the first rib and changes its name to axillary artery at the lateral border of that rib. At the base of the axilla, where the axillary artery reaches the inferior border of the teres major, its name changes to brachial. Immediately distal to the elbow joint, the brachial artery divides into the radial and ulnar arteries, which, when they reach the hand, form anastomotic connections known as the superficial and deep palmar arches. A number of metacarpal and digital branches supply the fingers.