Unveiling the Tensor Vastus Intermedius – A distinct anatomical phenomenon or a standard variation? A comparative analysis of comprehensive literature and original cadaveric studies
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Department of Normal, Clinical and Imaging Anatomy, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Internal Diseases with Subdepartments of Occupational Diseases and Rapid Diagnostics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Corresponding author
Maciej Samczuk   

Department of Normal, Clinical and Imaging Anatomy; Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Introduction and objective:
The aim of this study was to enhance the understanding of the tensor vastus intermedius (TVI), a recently recognized addition to the quadriceps femoris muscle group, by conducting a systematic literature review with empirical cadaveric research to provide comprehensive data on its anatomical features, including dimensions, topography, variations, and prevalence.

Material and methods:
An exhaustive literature review was conducted using medical databases such as PubMed, MEDLINE, and Scopus. This review was complemented by original cadaveric research involving 30 autopsied adult bodies, encompassing 60 lower limbs, to empirically investigate the TVI’s anatomical characteristics.

The TVI was consistently identified in the medial aspect between the vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus intermedius (VI) in all examined cases. Detailed documentation covered its anatomical specifics, e.g. location, origin, and fascial connections, categorized using the criteria of Grob et al. Measurements of the muscle belly – length, width, and thickness – showed no significant lateral differences, but revealed gender-based disparities in TVI’s size.

The review not only confirms the consistent presence of the TVI, but also addresses the discrepancies in existing literature about its anatomical distribution and dimensional metrics. The observed methodological variations in previous studies underscore the need for standardized research methodologies in muscle anatomy. This in-depth review analysis significantly contributes to a deeper understanding of TVI, proving particularly beneficial for professionals in rehabilitation and related medical fields.

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