Superior gluteal artery

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Superior gluteal artery
Left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve
Internal iliac branches.PNG
Internal iliac artery and some of its branches
(superior gluteal artery labeled at right)
Source Internal iliac artery
Vein Superior gluteal veins
Supplies Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae
Latin Arteria glutaea superior
TA A12.2.15.013
FMA 18868
Anatomical terminology

The superior gluteal artery is the largest branch of the internal iliac artery, and appears to be the continuation of the posterior division of that vessel.

It is a short artery which runs backward between the lumbosacral trunk and the first sacral nerve, and, passing out of the pelvis above the upper border of the piriformis muscle, immediately divides into a superficial and a deep branch.

Within the pelvis it gives off a few branches to the iliacus, piriformis, and obturator internus muscles, and just previous to quitting that cavity, a nutrient artery which enters the ilium.


Superficial branch[edit]

The superficial branch enters the deep surface of the gluteus maximus, and divides into numerous branches, some of which supply the muscle and anastomose with the inferior gluteal artery, while others perforate its tendinous origin, and supply the integument covering the posterior surface of the sacrum, anastomosing with the posterior branches of the lateral sacral arteries.

Deep branch[edit]

The deep branch lies under the gluteus medius and almost immediately subdivides into two.

Of these, the superior division, continuing the original course of the vessel, passes along the upper border of the gluteus minimus to the anterior superior spine of the ilium (ASIS), anastomosing with the deep iliac circumflex artery and the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery.

The inferior division crosses the gluteus minimus obliquely to the greater trochanter, distributing branches to the gluteal muscles and anastomoses with the lateral femoral circumflex artery.

Some branches pierce the gluteus minimus and supply the hip-joint.


This artery takes part in the trochanteric anastomoses. So It forms a connection between internal iliac and femoral artery.

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

External links[edit]

  • Anatomy photo:43:13-0105 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "The Female Pelvis: Branches of Internal Iliac Artery"