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Superficial epigastric artery

Recommended video: Femoral artery and its branches [15:12]
Overview of the femoral artery and its branches from an anterior view.
Superficial epigastric artery (Arteria epigastrica superficialis)

The superficial epigastric artery is a small branch of the femoral artery. It arises inferior to the inguinal ligament and courses superiorly to emerge on the anterior abdominal wall. The artery terminates on the anterior abdominal wall by anastomosing with its contralateral counterpart and the branches of the inferior epigastric artery.

The main function of the superficial epigastric artery is to provide the blood supply for the superficial inguinal lymph nodes and skin of the anterior abdominal wall.

Key facts about the superficial epigastric artery
Origin Femoral artery
Branches Unnamed collateral branches
Supply Superficial inguinal lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue and skinof anterior abdominal wall below umbilicus 

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

  1. Course
  2. Branches and supply
  3. Sources
+ Show all


The superficial epigastric artery is a branch of the femoral artery, originating about 1 centimeter below the inguinal ligament. It then courses superiorly, traverses the cribriform fascia and passes anterior to the middle segment of the inguinal ligament. After crossing the inguinal ligament it continues its course through the subcutaneous tissue of the anterior abdominal wall towards the umbilicus.

The artery terminates at the umbilical region by anastomosing with its contralateral counterpart and with the ipsilateral inferior epigastric artery.

Branches and supply

Along its course, the superficial epigastric artery provides with small branches that supply the superficial inguinal lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue and skin of the inguinal region and anterior abdominal wall below the umbilicus.

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.

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