Open Access Blood Supply to the Chicken Femoral Head

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The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the vascular supply to the femoral head, including the vessels that give rise to the terminal perfusing branches. Using a casting agent, we highlighted the anatomy of the external iliac and ischiatic arteries with their associated branches after anatomic dissection of 24 hips from 12 Leghorn chickens. We confirmed published findings regarding perfusion of the femoral head and identified 3 previously undescribed arterial branches to this structure. The first branch (the acetabular branch of the femoralis artery) was supplied by the femoralis artery and directly perfused the acetabulum and femoral head. The second branch (the lateral retinacular artery) was a tributary of the femoralis artery that directly supplied the femoral head. Finally, we found that the middle femoral nutrient artery supplies a previously undescribed ascending intraosseous branch (the ascending branch of the middle femoral nutrient artery) that perfuses the femoral head. Precise understanding of the major vascular branches to the femoral head would allow for complete or selective ligation of its blood supply and enable the creation of a reproducible bipedal model of femoral head osteonecrosis.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 2: Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia; Email:

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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