Inferior epigastric artery

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Artery: Inferior epigastric artery
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Right inferior epigastric artery - view from inside of abdomen. (Inferior epigastric vessels labeled at upper left.)
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The abdominal inguinal ring. (Inf. epigastric artery labeled at center left.)
Latin arteria epigastrica inferior
Gray's p.623
Source external iliac artery
Branches superior epigastric artery, cremasteric branch of inferior epigastric artery, pubic branch of inferior epigastric artery
Vein inferior epigastric vein

In human anatomy, inferior epigastric artery refers to the artery that arises from the external iliac artery and anastomoses with the superior epigastric artery. Along its course, it is accompanied by a similarly named vein, the inferior epigastric vein.

Course[edit]

It arises from the external iliac artery, immediately above the inguinal ligament.

It curves forward in the subperitoneal tissue, and then ascends obliquely along the medial margin of the abdominal inguinal ring; continuing its course upward, it pierces the transversalis fascia, and, passing in front of the linea semicircularis, ascends between the Rectus abdominis and the posterior lamella of its sheath.

It finally divides into numerous branches, which anastomose, above the umbilicus, with the superior epigastric branch of the internal thoracic artery and with the lower intercostal arteries.

As the inferior epigastric artery passes obliquely upward from its origin it lies along the lower and medial margins of the abdominal inguinal ring, and behind the commencement of the spermatic cord.

The vas deferens, as it leaves the spermatic cord in the male, and the round ligament of the uterus in the female, winds around the lateral and posterior aspects of the artery.

Additional images[edit]

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.