Princeps pollicis artery

The princeps pollicis artery, also known as the principal artery of the thumb, branches from the radial artery near the wrist and extends into the hand toward the thumb. The radial artery is one of the two arteries used to supply blood to the forearm and hand. The other artery that performs this function is the ulnar artery. The princeps pollicis artery branches off into two smaller branches near the second joint of the thumb and is used to supply blood to the all of the tissues of the thumb. Occasionally, an individual may experience an arterial blockage in the radial artery that may cause blood to flow more slowly or not at all to the smaller arteries of the hand. In the case of a complete blockage, this can cause cell death to the areas that are not receiving oxygen. If this situation occurs, and the princeps pollicis artery and other arteries of the hand are not able to supply the cells with oxygen, surgery may be required to correct or bypass the blockage.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Princeps pollicis artery

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