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Superior rectal artery

The superior rectal artery (also known as superior hemorrhoidal artery, Latin: arteria rectalis superior, arteria haemorrhoidalis superior) is the terminal branch of the inferior mesenteric artery. It descends into the pelvic cavity within the sigmoid mesocolon, crossing the left common iliac vessels.

The superior rectal artery divides into two terminal branches at the level of vertebra S3. The two branches descend on both sides of the rectum, splitting into smaller branches in the rectal wall. These smaller branches continue inferiorly to the level of the internal anal sphincter. On their course, these vessels anastomose with branches from the middle rectal arteries (arising from the internal iliac artery) and the inferior rectal arteries (from the internal pudendal artery).