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Inferior epigastric artery

The inferior epigastric artery (Latin: arteria epigastrica inferior) arises from the external iliac artery behind the inguinal ligament. It supplies arterial blood to the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, such as the rectus abdominis muscle, and to the deep abdominal wall in the pubic and lower umbilical regions.

After arising, the inferior epigastric artery curves forwards and passes obliquely upwards along the medial margin of the deep inguinal ring, where it continues as an artery of the anterior abdominal wall. On its course, the inferior epigastric artery gives off several side branches:

  • Pubic branch
  • Cremasteric artery (in males)
  • Artery of round ligament of uterus (in females)
  • Anastomotic branches (communicate with branches of superior epigastric artery, a branch of the internal thoracic artery)