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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Review Article

Anat Cell Biol 2022; 55(1): 3-13

Published online March 31, 2022


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

The prevalence and distribution of the variants of Gantzer’s muscle: a meta-analysis of cadaveric studies

Adil Asghar1 , Rakesh Kumar Jha1 , Apurba Patra2 , Binita Chaudhary1 , Brijendra Singh3

1Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Patna, Patna, 2Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bathinda, Bathinda, 3Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Rishikesh, Rishikesh, India

Correspondence to:Binita Chaudhary
Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Patna, Phulwari Sharif, Patna, Bihar 801507, India
E-mail: binitachaudhary18@gmail.com

Received: July 9, 2021; Revised: September 7, 2021; Accepted: September 17, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Gantzer’s muscle is often present in the flexor compartment of the forearm. It lies underneath flexor digitorum superficialis and compresses the anterior interosseous nerve. Furthermore, this muscle frequently bestows an accessory muscle of flexor pollicis longus or flexor digitorum profundus, or sometimes together. The current meta-analysis aims to compute the prevalence of subtypes of Gantzer’s muscle. Major electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, etc.) were searched for title and abstract. After removing the duplicate citations, the titles/abstracts were shortlisted with the help of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The shortlisted titles/abstracts were downloaded or collected from the library. The data of all subtypes of Gantzer’s muscle were pooled from shortlisted published manuscripts for meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of other anatomical characteristics was also observed. A total of 59 cadaveric studies of sample size 5,903 were evaluated for pooled prevalence of flexor pollicis longus (accessory head). Similarly, the authors evaluated 14 studies of 1,627 upper limbs for flexor digitorum profundus (accessory head). The unit of analysis was per 100 upper limbs. The Pooled prevalence of accessory muscle of flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus were 48% (95% CI, 44%–52%) and 17% (95% CI, 13%–21%), respectively. The Gantzer’s muscle is present in 2/3rd of the upper limbs. Accessory head of flexor pollicis longus is almost three times more common than the accessory head of flexor digitorum profundus. A classification of Gantzer’s muscle is needed to reduce the ignorance of these variants.

Keywords: Forearm, Prevalence, Hand, Skeletal muscle, Cadaver

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