Internal iliac artery

  • The internal iliac artery (latin: arteria iliaca interna) is the main artery of the pelvis ,that arises from the bifurcation of the common iliac artery.

    The internal iliac artery runs downward along the lateral wall of the pelvis, crosses the linea terminalis and descends to the lesser pelvis through the upper part of the greater sciatic foramen, dividing into an anterior and a posterior trunk.

    The posterior trunk of the internal iliac artery gives rise to the following arteries:

    • iliolumbar artery,
    • lateral sacral arteries,
    • superior gluteal artery.

    The anterior trunk gives rise to these arteries:

    • umbilical artery (in fetus),
    • obturator artery,
    • vaginal artery,
    • inferior vesical artery,
    • uterine artery,
    • middle rectal artery,
    • internal pudendal artery,
    • inferior gluteal artery.

    In general, the internal iliac artery supplies blood to the viscera of the pelvis, the pelvic walls, the external genitalia, the perineum, the buttock and the medial compartment of the thigh.