Localization of the arcuate line from surface anatomic landmarks: A cadaveric study

Steven C. Cunningham, Gedge D. Rosson, Richard H. Lee, Jeremy Z. Williams, Craig A. Lustman, Sheri Slezak, Nelson H. Goldberg, Ronald P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The arcuate line is a relevant structure when reconstructing the abdominal wall after rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap harvest. Its location is classically taught to be half the distance from the pubic symphysis to the umbilicus, but recent anatomic literature provides evidence to the contrary. Better understanding of the relationship between the arcuate line and surface anatomic landmarks could facilitate better preoperative planning when harvesting a rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap. A total of 32 arcuate lines were dissected in 18 cadavers, and the location was correlated to various surface anatomic landmarks. The arcuate line was found to lie at 74.6% of the distance from the pubic symphysis to the umbilicus, and 32.7% of the distance from the pubic symphysis to the xiphoid. This location was 1.8 ± 1.7 cm superior to the level of the anterior superior iliac spines (ASIS). This study provides further support for the finding in the anatomic literature that the arcuate line is substantially more superior than classically described. This knowledge may prove useful in preoperative planning of rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap harvest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-131
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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