UMMS Affiliation

Division of Translational Anatomy, Department of Radiology; School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Postprint


Cardiovascular Diseases | Cardiovascular System | Radiology


Arterial tortuosity describes variation via bending of the arterial wall and has been noted in several arteries throughout the body. Tortuous blood vessels can cause nerve compression, as well as present difficulties to surgeons and radiologists. Here we present an unusual case of multi-vessel arterial tortuosity discovered in 78-year-old Hispanic male cadaver, independent of systemic pathology. The left ulnar and right tibial arteries were dissected, and using calibrated digital calipers, their external and internal diameters were measured both at the origin site and at the site of greatest dilation. Both wall thickness and the number of inflection points were also measured. Six bends were noticed in the ulnar artery and its diameter measured 8.11 mm at its widest, with a wall thickness of 0.88mm. On the lower extremity, the right tibial artery had three bends and its diameter measured 4.86 mm at its widest, with a wall thickness of 1.32 mm. This uncommon tortuosity is not only more prone to laceration during surgery, but the bending and thickening can be mistaken for tumors. Finally, fluid dynamics can be altered, resulting in an impact on blood pressure in the extremities. Thus, raising awareness is crucial to prevent both symptoms and iatrogenic complications.


arterial, cadaveric, tibial, tortuosity, ulnar

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This article has been peer reviewed and published immediately upon acceptance. It is an open access article, which means that it can be downloaded, printed, and distributed freely, provided the work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Carter Y, Bennett DJ, Molla V, Wink AE, Collins AJ, Giannaris EL. A case of distal limb arterial tortuosity and dilation: observations and potential clinical significance. Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2021.0055. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34060644. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Folia morphologica

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID