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Iliolumbar artery

Recommended video: Blood vessels of the female pelvis [19:24]
Arteries and veins of the female pelvis.
Iliolumbar artery (Arteria iliolumbalis)

The iliolumbar artery arises from the posterior division/trunk of the internal iliac artery, a branch of the common iliac artery (from the abdominal aorta). It originates within the pelvic cavity and makes its way to the iliac fossa within the greater pelvis.

The iliolumbar artery gives off two branches which contribute to the arterial supply of surrounding structures and muscles of the posterior abdominal wall

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the iliolumbar artery.

Key facts about the iliolumbar artery
Origin Posterior division of internal iliac artery
Branches Lumbar branch, iliac branch
Supply Psoas major muscle, quadratus lumborum muscle, cauda equina, iliacus muscle, iliac bone
  1. Course
  2. Branches and supply
  3. Anatomical variations
  4. Sources
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The iliolumbar artery is usually the first branch of the posterior division of the internal iliac artery. From its origin, it arches backward and ascends laterally out of the pelvic inlet toward the iliac fossa. It travels anterior to the sacroiliac joint and lumbosacral nerve trunk, passing behind the external iliac vessels to reach the medial border of the psoas major muscle.

Just posterior to the medial border of the psoas major muscle, the iliolumbar artery divides into lumbar and iliac branches.

Branches and supply

The iliolumbar artery has two main branches that contribute to the arterial supply of the posterior abdominal wall muscles and other structures in that region;

Anatomical variations

Although the iliolumbar artery typically arises from the posterior division of the internal iliac artery, its origin is variable. It can commonly arise directly from the main trunk of the internal iliac artery. It has also been reported to arise less commonly from the superior gluteal artery, common iliac artery or lateral sacral artery.

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