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Superficial circumflex iliac artery: want to learn more about it?

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Superficial circumflex iliac artery

The superficial circumflex iliac artery is the smallest branch of the femoral artery. It arises distal to the superficial epigastric artery and courses superolaterally over the lateral surface of the pelvic wall. It terminates by anastomosing with the deep circumflex iliac, superior gluteal and lateral circumflex femoral arteries.

The main function of the superficial circumflex iliac artery is to provide blood supply for the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the region below the inguinal ligament. Additionally, it supplies the superficial inguinal lymph nodes together with the superficial epigastric artery. 

Key facts about the superficial circumflex iliac artery
Origin Femoral artery
Branches Unnamed collateral branches
Supply Skin and subcutaneous tissue of the inguinal region, superficial inguinal lymph nodes

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the superficial circumflex iliac artery.

Course

The superficial circumflex iliac artery is a branch of the femoral artery that originates inferior to the inguinal ligament. It courses superolaterally over the lateral aspect of the ilium and traverses the fascia lata to appear in the inguinal region. It runs inferior to the inguinal ligament towards the superior iliac spine, accompanied by the same-named vein. The artery terminates by creating anastomotic connections with the deep circumflex iliac, superior gluteal and lateral circumflex femoral arteries at the level of the upper half of the ilium.

Branches and supply

Along its course, the superficial circumflex iliac artery provides small branches that supply the superficial inguinal lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue and skin of the inguinal region inferior to the inguinal ligament.

If you want to learn more about the nerves and vessels of the abominable wall check out our other articles, videos, quizzes and labeled diagrams.

Anatomical variations

The superficial circumflex iliac artery can arise individually from the femoral artery, or it can share a common origin with the superficial epigastric artery.

Superficial circumflex iliac artery: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

References:

  • Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of Human Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
  • Standring, S. (2016). Gray's Anatomy (41st ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M., Loukas, M., & Bergman, R. A. (2016). Bergman’s comprehensive encyclopedia of human anatomic variation. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell

Illustrations:

  • Superficial circumflex iliac artery (Arteria circumflexa iliaca superficialis) - Rebecca Betts
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