: The rectus femoris muscles have been used in reconstructive surgery, although their vascular anatomy has not been examined in detail. Thus, using cadavers, we have analyzed the extramuscular vascular pattern of 40 rectus femoris muscles and the intramuscular vascular pattern in 27 of these 40 muscles by means of an injected radiopaque substance and subsequent arteriography.
The arterial patterns seen, depending on their relationship to the intramuscular tendon, then were classified as follows: type la (13 muscles), type lb (3 muscles), type 2 (7 muscles), and type 3 (4 muscles). In the type la pattern, most of a muscle belly was supplied by one artery, but this was not seen in the other pattern types. We also observed an average of 2.6 musculocutaneous perforators.
Therefore, in planning a free muscle transfer, the anatomic characteristics of the muscle should be kept in mind.
(C)1993American Society of Plastic Surgeons