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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Pelvis: External Iliac Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Pelvis

External Iliac Artery

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The external iliac may be longer or shorter than usual, resulting from the bifurcation of the common iliac above or below its usual point. When longer, it often takes a tortous course, making a partial loop or bend that may take it below the brim of the pelvis.

The artery may be much smaller in diameter than usual; this may be the case when the femoral or main vessel of the lower limb arises from the inferior gluteal or other branch of the internal iliac. It then often terminates in profunda femoris.

The external iliac may provide a large branch, such as the circumflex iliac or inferior epigastric, at a point higher than usual.

On occasion it gives rise to the obturator artey (1.1% of cases).

The artery may terminate as the deep femoral in cases in which the anastomoses between the inferior gluteal and popliteal are extensive.

In some cases, it gives rise to branches usually arising from the femoral, i.e., superficial external pudendal or profunda femoris.

In cases where the ischiadic artery persists as the main artery of the lower limb the external iliac is usually poorly developed.

Image 359, Image 469, Image 489

Common Iliac

Image 136, Image 241, Image 258, Image 264A, Image 264B, Image 343, Image 356, See Image 359


Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed. The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore and Munich.

Curtis, A.H., Anson, B.J., Ashley, F.L. and T. Jones. (1942) The blood vessels of the female pelvis in relation to gynecological surgery. Surg., Gynecol. Obstet. 75:421-423.

Dschau, F. (1936-37) Eine bisher unbekannte Varietät der Arteria obturatoria und pudenda accessoria mit einer Varietät der A. circumflexa femoris medialis. Anat. Anz. 83:25-29.

Lipshutz, B. (1918) A composite study of the hypogastric artery and its branches. Ann. Surg. 67:584-608.

Pác, L., Hamplová, M. and O. Pelcová. (1977) An atypical case of arising of some parietal branches of the arteria iliaca imterna in man. Anat. Anz. 141:450-454.

Poynter, C.W.M. (1922) Congenital anomalies of the arteries and veins of the human body with bibliography. University Studies of the University of Nebraska. 22:1-106.

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