Inferior rectal artery
The inferior rectal artery, also called the inferior hemorrhoidal artery or inferior anorectal artery, is a branch of the internal pudendal artery which supplies the rectum. It is found in the lesser pelvis, running medially across the ischioanal fossa towards the lower rectum.
This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the inferior rectal artery.
|Origin||Internal pudendal artery|
|Supply||Anal canal, internal and external anal sphincter, perianal skin|
Origin and course
The inferior rectal artery arises as the terminal branch of the internal pudendal artery, just as it pierces the wall of the pudendal canal. It runs inferiorly and medially across the ischioanal fossa towards the anal canal and splits into several terminal branches which are distributed to the muscles and integument of the anal region.
Branches and supply
The terminal branches of the inferior rectal artery form anastomoses with the superior and middle rectal arteries, as well as the perineal artery. The branches of the inferior rectal artery supply the anorectal junction, internal and external anal sphincters, the anal canal inferior to the pectinate line and the skin of the perianal region.