External iliac artery

  • The external iliac artery (latin: arteria iliaca externa) is a continuation of the common iliac artery after it bifurcates. The external iliac arteries are larger than the internal iliac arteries.

    The external iliac artery runs inferiorly and laterally along the medial border of the psoas major muscle, and at the middle of the inguinal ligament leaves the pelvic cavity via the vascular lacuna. Then the external iliac artery continues as the femoral artery.

    The external iliac artery is principally an artery of the lower limb, so it gives off only two branches that arise above the inguinal ligament, such as:

    • inferior epigastric artery,
    • deep circumflex artery.

    These branches of the external iliac artery supply blood to the muscles and skin in the lower abdominal wall, while its terminal branch, the femoral artery, descends and provides blood supply to the lower limb.