Background: The dorsalis pedis artery poses a wide range of anatomical variations. Their embryological dimensions along with clinical importance cater the interest of anatomists on the artery. The available literature lacks in giving a proper insight into their development.
Aims: The present study aimed at studying the variations in the origin of dorsalis pedis artery by cadaveric dissection and to provide an embryological basis for them.
Materials and Methods: Dissection was conducted on fifty free lower limbs of formalin fixed cadavers.
Variations in the origin of the artery were noted. The variations were embryologically correlated and their clinical relevance were reviewed.
Results: Of the 50 limbs dissected, normal origin of dorsalis pedis artery was found in 46 limbs (ie:92%).
In three cases (6%) the artery originated from one among the other leg arteries. In one specimen the dorsalis pedis artery (DPA)was absent.
The variations were correlated with the embryological development of axis and femoral artery branches.
The variations were also classified under the standardized popliteal artery variants.
Conclusions: The arterial variations are embryological imprints. Knowing them provides great help for vascular surgeries, flap procedures, managing ischemic or diabetic foot, club foot correction etc. Imaging the vessels before surgery is always advocated.
Dorsalis pedis, Dissection, Embryology, Variations.