External iliac vein

The external iliac veinAnatomical features of the external iliac vein, its tributaries and venous outflow areas
~ 3 min

In this note, we will consider the anatomy, areas of blood drainage and anastomoses of the external iliac vein.

The external iliac vein (v. iliaca externa) is a valveless vein

External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)
External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)

and a continuation of the femoral vein (v. femoralis). The inguinal ligament forms a border between them.

Femoral vein (v. femoralis)
Femoral vein (v. femoralis)

It follows upwards, medial to the artery of the same name and and lies on the medial side to the psoas major muscle. In its course, it is crossed by the ureter in men, the vas deferens, and by the round ligament and the vessels of the ovary in women.

External iliac vein (in women) (v. iliaca externa)
External iliac vein  (in women) (v. iliaca externa)
External iliac vein (in men) (v. iliaca externa)
External iliac vein (in men) (v. iliaca externa)

At the level of the sacro-iliac joint, it communicates with the internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna);

Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)
Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)

forming a common iliac vein (v. iliaca communis).

Common iliac vein (v. iliaca communis)
Common iliac vein (v. iliaca communis)

It drains blood from all the veins of the lower limb.

It has a number of tributaries along its length:

The inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior) drains the inferior part of the anterior abdominal wall.

Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)
Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)
Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)
Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)

It communicates with the external iliac vein 1 cm above the inguinal ligament (lig. inguinale).

Inguinal ligament (lig. inguinale)
Inguinal ligament (lig. inguinale)

The deep circumflex iliac vein (v. circumflexa iliaca profunda) is formed by fusion of veins to the circumflex iliac artery.

Deep circumflex iliac vein (v. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac vein (v. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac vein (v. circumflexa iliaca profunda)
Deep circumflex iliac vein (v. circumflexa iliaca profunda)

It crosses the external iliac artery and communicates with the external iliac vein.

The pubic vein (v. pubica) is an anastomosis between the external iliac and obturator veins.

Pubic vein (v. pubica)
Pubic vein (v. pubica)
Pubic vein (v. pubica)
Pubic vein (v. pubica)
Dictionary

The external iliac vein

External iliac vein
v. iliaca externa
Femoral vein
v. femoralis
Sacro-iliac joint
art. sacro iliaca
Internal iliac vein
v. iliaca interna
Common iliac vein
v. iliaca communis
Inferior epigastric vein
v. epigastrica inferior
Deep ilium circumflex vein
v. circumflexa iliaca profunda
Inferior epigastric vein
v. epigastrica inferior
Inguinal ligament
lig. inguinale
Pubic vein
v. pubica
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