External iliac artery

The external iliac artery and its branchesAnatomical features of the external iliac artery and its major branches together with blood supply areas
~ 4 min

The aorta (aorta) is the largest vessel in the human body. It gives rise to all the arteries of the systemic circulation.

Aorta (aorta)
Aorta (aorta)
Aorta (aorta)
Aorta (aorta)

It has the following parts:

  • The ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)

    Ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)
    Ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)
    Ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)
    Ascending aorta (pars ascendens aortae)
  • Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)

    Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)
    Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)
    Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)
    Arch of the aorta (arcus aortae)
  • The descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)

    Descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)
    Descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)
    Descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)
    Descending aorta (pars descendens aortae)

    The latter divides into two common iliac arteries.

    This spot is called an aortic bifurcation (bifurcatio aortae)

    Aortic bifurcation (bifurcatio aortae)
    Aortic bifurcation (bifurcatio aortae)

    The common iliac artery (a. iliaca communis) passes in the inferior direction and laterally towards the lesser pelvis.

    Common iliac artery (a. iliaca communis)
    Common iliac artery (a. iliaca communis)

    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.

    External iliac artery (a. iliaca externa)
    External iliac artery (a. iliaca externa)
    External iliac artery (a. iliaca externa)
    External iliac artery (a. iliaca externa)

    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.

    Femoral artery (a. femoralis)
    Femoral artery (a. femoralis)

    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:

    1. The inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)

      Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
      Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
      Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
      Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
    2. The deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)

    Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
    Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
    Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
    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.

    Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
    Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
    Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)
    Inferior epigastric artery (a. epigastrica inferior)

    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.

    Pubic branch (r. pubicus)
    Pubic branch (r. pubicus)
  • 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.

Cremasteric artery (a. ligamenti teretis uteri)
Cremasteric artery (a. ligamenti teretis uteri)

The deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda) arises under the inguinal ligament, and passes laterally upward along the crest of the ilium.

Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac artery (a. circumflexa iliaca profunda)

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.

Dictionary

The external iliac artery and its branches

Aorta
aorta
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
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