The cruciate anastomosis is a circulatory anastomosis in the upper thigh of the inferior gluteal artery, the lateral and medial circumflex femoral arteries, and the first perforating artery of the profunda femoris artery. The cruciate anastomosis is clinically relevant because if there is a blockage between the femoral artery and external iliac artery, blood can reach the popliteal artery by means of the anastomosis. The route of blood is through the internal iliac, to the inferior gluteal artery, to a perforating branch of the deep femoral artery, to the lateral circumflex femoral artery, then to its descending branch into the superior lateral genicular artery and thus into the popliteal artery.
The cruciate anastomosis is so-called because it resembles a cross. Its four components are:
This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.