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Cubital Fossa

Contents

Introduction

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

Cubital fossa
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Anatomy, location and structures found on the cubital fossa.

Boundaries

Superior Border

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).

Content

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

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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Show references

References:

  • K. L. Moore, A. F. Dally and A. M. R. Agur: Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 7th Edition, (2014), p. 739-744.
  • R.M.H McMinn: Last's Anatomy (Regional and Applied), 9th Edition, Ana-Maria Dulea (2014), p. 90.

Author and Layout:

  • Benjamin Aghoghovwia
  • Catarina Chaves

Illustrators:          

  • Median cubital vein (green) - Yousun Koh 
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