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Cubital fossa: want to learn more about it?

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Cubital fossa

Cubital fossa (Fossa cubitalis)

The cubital fossa is a triangular shaped area or depression situated in relation to the ventral surface of the forearm and contains important neurovascular structures.

It has a superior, medial and lateral border, as well as an apex which is directed inferiorly. The cubital fossa also has a floor and roof, and it is traversed by structures which makes up its contents.

This article will discuss the anatomy of the cubital fossa.

Key facts about the cubital fossa
Boundaries Base: imaginary line joining the epicondyles of the humerus
Medial border: pronator teres muscle
Lateral border: brachioradialis muscle
Apex: pronator teres and brachioradialis muscles
Roof: skin, fascia of forearm, bicipital aponeurosis
Floor: brachialis muscle, supinator muscle
Contents Median nerve, Brachial artery, Tendon of biceps brachii, Radial nerve
Mnemonic: My Blood Turns Red
Clinical points Venipuncture, blood pressure measurements

Boundaries

Superior border

Borders and contents of the cubital fossa

The superior border – also known as the base – of the cubital fossa, is formed by an imaginary line that runs from the medial epicondyle of the humerus (bone of arm) to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

Medial border

This border of the triangle is formed by the pronator teres muscle.

Lateral border

The triangle is formed at this boundary by the brachioradialis muscle.

Apex

The apex is directed inferiorly, and it is formed by the pronator teres and brachioradialis muscles, at the point where these two muscles meet and cross over each other.

Roof

This is formed, from superficial to deep, by the skin, fascia of the forearm and the bicipital aponeurosis (medially). The bicipital aponeurosis forms a partial protective covering to the medial nerve, brachial artery, radial artery and ulnar artery.

Floor

Structures making up the floor include the brachialis muscle (proximally) and the supinator muscle (distally).

Contents

The cubital fossa contains four structures, which from medial to lateral are:

  • the median nerve
  • the brachial artery
  • the tendon of biceps brachii (biceps brachii is a muscle of the anterior compartment of the arm)
  • the radial nerve

Remembering the cubital fossa contents is incredibly easy if you use the following mnemonic:

My Blood Turns Red

  • Median nerve
  • Brachial artery
  • Tendon of biceps
  • Radial nerve

Repetition is the key to success! Learn anatomy faster with our free quizzes and guides.

Within the cubital fossa, the brachial artery bifurcates to form two more arteries. These arteries are the radial artery (laterally) and the ulnar artery (medially). These two arteries are named and situated in accordance with the radial and ulnar bones of the forearm.

The fascia forming the roof also contains the median cubital vein, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm, and medial cutaneous nerve of the forearm. On the bicipital aponeurosis lies the basilic vein (medially) and the cephalic vein (laterally).

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Cubital fossa: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

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“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

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