In human anatomy
, inferior epigastric artery
refers to the artery
that arises from the external iliac artery
and anastomoses with the superior epigastric artery
. Along its course, it is accompanied by a similarly named vein, the inferior epigastric vein
It arises from the external iliac
, immediately above the inguinal ligament
It curves forward in the subperitoneal tissue, and then ascends obliquely along the medial margin of the abdominal inguinal ring; continuing its course upward, it pierces the transversalis fascia, and, passing in front of the linea semicircularis, ascends between the Rectus abdominis and the posterior lamella of its sheath.
It finally divides into numerous branches, which anastomose, above the umbilicus, with the superior epigastric branch of the internal mammary (internal thoracic artery) and with the lower intercostal arteries.
As the inferior epigastric artery passes obliquely upward from its origin it lies along the lower and medial margins of the abdominal inguinal ring, and behind the commencement of the spermatic cord.
The vas deferens, as it leaves the spermatic cord in the male, and the round ligament of the uterus in the female, winds around the lateral and posterior aspects of the artery.
- - "Incisions and the contents of the rectus sheath."
- - "Anterior Abdominal Wall: Blood Vessels in the Rectus sheath"