The profunda femoris artery: Variations and clinical applications

W. P. Chleborad, David L Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Percutaneous femoral artery cannulation can cause pseudoaneurysms. When this occurs, the puncture site is frequently in the profunda femoris artery (PFA) or femoral artery (FA) distal to the PFA origin, where anatomic relationships make hemostasis difficult to achieve. Two such complications prompted a study of the relations of this arterial complex to palpable landmarks. Four measurements were made on 101 cadaver extremities (61 males, 40 females; 45 left, 56 right). The measurements and results (mean ± S.D.) are: 1) horizontal distance from pubic tubercle (PT) to perpendicular extending inferiorly from anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS), 9.44 ± 1.34 cm; 2) horizontal distance from PT to middle of FA, 5.15 ± 0.87 cm; 3) distance from inguinal ligament to origin of PFA, 5.31 ± 1.46 cm; 4) distance from level of PT to origin of PFA, 2.37 ± 1.40 cm. When males and females were compared, significant differences were found between means of measurements 3 and 4; likewise, the means for measurement 1 were significantly different between left and right sides. The PFA originated superior to the level PT in only three extremities, but the distance was never more than 0.5 cm. These data indicate that 1) the FA is typically located about 5 cm lateral to PT, 2) the origin of PFA is usually inferior to the level of PT, and 3) the frequency of complications of percutaneous FA cannulation can be diminished by insertion of the needle or cannula 1 cm or more superior to the level of PT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • femoral artery cannulation
  • PFA
  • pubic tubercle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


Dive into the research topics of 'The profunda femoris artery: Variations and clinical applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this