nutrient artery of femur

Artery of Adamkiewicz

In human anatomy, the Artery of Adamkiewicz is the largest anterior segmental medullary artery.

It has several other names, including Adamkiewicz artery, major anterior segmental medullary artery, artery of the lumbar enlargement, great radicular artery of Adamkiewicz, great anterior radiculomedullary artery and great anterior segmental medullary artery.

It typically arises from a left posterior intercostal artery, which branches from the aorta, and supplies the lower two thirds of the spinal cord via the anterior spinal artery.

Anatomical variation

In a study of approximately 70 people that examined the spinal cord's blood supply it was found that:

  1. The Adamkiewicz artery sometimes arises from a lumbar vessel.
  2. In approximately 30% of people it arises from the right side.
  3. One quarter of people have two large anterior segmental medullary arteries.

Clinical significance

When damaged or obstructed, it can result in anterior spinal artery syndrome, with loss of urinary and fecal continence and impaired motor function of the legs; sensory function is often preserved to a degree.

It can be important to identify the location of the artery when treating an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Its location can be identified with computed tomographic angiography.


It is named for Albert Wojciech Adamkiewicz.


External links

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