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Internal iliac artery

Other Terms: Arteria iliaca interna, Artère iliaque interne


The internal iliac artery is short, thick, and smaller than the external iliac. It is two and a half to four centimeters in length, and arises as one of the two terminal branches of the common iliac artery, at the upper margin of the sacroiliac synchondrosis on the medial border of the psoas muscle. It descends downward and backward for about three and a half centimeters into the pelvis, in the extraperitoneal fat. Just above the upper margin of the greater sciatic notch, it divides into an anterior and a posterior branch. It rests posteriorly upon the internal iliac vein, the lumbosacral cord, and the pyriformis muscle. It is crossed on its medial side by the ureter, and covered by peritoneum. The psoas major muscle and termination of the external iliac vein lie upon its lateral side. During fetal life the internal iliac artery is twice as large as the external. It appears to be the direct continuation of the common iliac. It does not dip into the pelvis, but passes to the bladder and along its side to the summit, from which it extends along the anterior wall of the abdomen to the umbilicus, through which it passes to the placenta. While within the abdominal cavity the vessel is known as the hypogastric artery. After passing through the umbilicus, it becomes the umbilical artery. The umbilical arteries wind around the umbilical vein, helping to form the umbilical cord, and are distributed to the placenta. After the placental circulation has ceased, all but a short portion of the lower end of the hypogastric artery becomes obliterated and forms the lateral umbilical ligament. The proximal end becomes reduced in size and forms the root of the superior vesical artery. The anterior trunk of the iliac artery gives off visceral and parietal branches. The visceral branches are the superior vesical, middle rectal, and in the female the uterine, and vaginal; and in the male the inferior vesical. The parietal branches are the obturator, internal pudendal, and inferior gluteal arteries. The posterior branch of the internal iliac artery gives off an ascending branch, the iliolumbar artery. Below this, it gives off the two lateral sacral arteries It then emerges from the pelvis as the superior gluteal artery.


Arteria iliaca interna


Artère iliaque interne


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