The aorta (aorta) is the largest vessel in the human body. It gives rise to all the arteries of the systemic circulation.
It has the following parts:
The ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)
Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)
The descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)
The latter divides into two common iliac arteries.
This spot is called an aortic bifurcation (bifurcatio aortae)
The common iliac artery (a. iliaca communis) passes in the inferior direction and laterally towards the lesser pelvis.
At the level of the sacro-iliac joint, it divides into two large branches called the internal and external iliac arteries.
In this video, we will walk through the anatomy of the external iliac artery and its branches, as well as the areas of blood supply and anastomoses.
The external iliac artery (a. iliaca externa) is a continuation of the common iliac artery.
It arises at the level of the sacro-iliac joint. It goes in the inferior and anterior directions along the medial border of the psoas major muscle to the inguinal ligament, then passes through the vascular space and into the femoral artery.
It supplies the following structures with blood: muscles of the abdomen, especially the rectus abdominis; the iliacus muscle, as well as the scrotum in men, the mons pubis and labia majora in women.
The artery is paired, with an identical bilateral location.
It has two branches:
The inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
The deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
The inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior) arises above the inguinal ligament and passes medially and upwards along the posterior surface of the rectus abdominis muscle in the thickness of the anterior abdominal wall, into the sheath of the rectus abdominis muscle.
The artery gives off a number of branches:
The pubic branch (r. pubicus) supplies the pubis bone and its periosteum with blood. Theobturator branch (r. obturato rius) arises from the pubic artery, which anastomoses with the pubic branch of the obturator artery.
In men, at the level of the deep inguinal ring, the cremasteric artery (a. cremasterica) arises, whic supplies the membranes of the spermatic cord and testicle, as well as the cremaster muscle with blood.
In women, such an artery is called the artery of the round ligament of the uterus (a. ligamenti teretis uteri), and as part of this ligament it reaches the skin of the external genitalia.
The deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda) arises under the inguinal ligament, and passes laterally upward along the crest of the ilium.
It supplies blood to the anterior wall of the abdomen and its muscles, including transverse, oblique, iliac, tensor fasciae latae of the thigh, and sartorius muscles.
It anastomoses with the branches of the iliolumbar artery.
In addition to the large branches described, the external iliac artery, like most arteries, has many unnamed lesser branches. These branches supply the adjacent lymph nodes and the psoas major muscle with blood.
The external iliac artery and its branches
- Common iliac artery
- a. iliaca communis
- External iliac artery
- a. iliaca externa
- Inferior epigastric artery
- a. epigastrica inferior
- Pubic branch
- r. pubicus
- Obturator branch
- r. obturatorius
- Cremasteric artery
- a. cremasterica
- Arteries of the round ligament of the uterus
- a. ligamentiteretis uteri
- Deep circumflexiliac artery
- a. circumflexa iliaca profunda