Internal iliac artery


  • It furnishes most of the blood supply to the pelvis.

  • Arises from the common iliac at the level of the inter vertebral disc between the fifth lumbar vertebrae  and the sacrum.

Surface marking

  • Upper point of trisection between the anterior superior iliac spine and pubic symphysis.

  • About 4cm long.


  • Crossed infront by the ureter

  • Separated from the sacro iliac joint behind by the internal iliac vein and lumbosacral trunk.

  • In upper part, external iliac vein and psoas major are lateral to it.

  • In the lower part the obturator nerve is lateral.



  • The major branches, direct and indirect may be divided into parietal and visceral.

Parietal branches.


Iliolumbar arterty

Iliac branch

  • Nutrient branch to ilium
  • Iliacus muscle.
  Lumbar branch
  • psoas major,
  • Quadratus lumborum

Lateral sacral artery

Spinal branches
  • Contents of the sacral canal

Obturator artery
muscular branches
  • Obturator internus
  • Obturator externus
  nutrient branch to the ilium
  • Ilium
  pubic branch
  • Pubis
  acetabular branch
  • Fat in the acetabular fossa
  • Ligament of the head of the femur

Superior gluteal artery  
  • Gluteal muscles


Inferior gluteal artery
  • Gluteal muscles

Internal pudendal artery Inferior rectal artery
  • Rectum
  Posterior scrotal/ labial branches
  • Scrotumm
  • Labia majora
  Perineal artery
  • Perineum
  Artery of the bulb of the penis
  • Penis
  Urethral artery
  • Urethra
  Deep and dorsal arteries of the penis or clitoris.
  • Penis
  • Clitoris

Visceral Branches      


Umbilical arteries

Superior vesical artery
  • Upper part of the bladder

  • Medial umbilical ligmanet

  • Lower part of the ureter.
  Artery of the ductus deferens-
  • Seminal vesicles
  • Back of bladder
  • Urethral branches to the ureter.

Inferior vesical artery

  • Lower parts of the bladder
  • Prostate,
  • Seminal vesicles,
  • Ductus deferens
  • Lower part of ureter.

Uterine artery  
  • Uterus,
  • Upper part of vagina,
  • Medial part of uterine tubes,
  • Round ligament of uterus
  • Ligament of the ovary

Vaginal artery Anterior and posterior azygous artery of the vagina
  • Front and back of the vagina
  Small branches
  • Bladder,
  • Rectum
  • Bulb of vestibule.

Middle rectal artery
  • Rectum
  • Prostate
  • Seminal vesicles
  • Ductus deferens


    Collateral circulation  

    The collateral circulation that develops after obstruction of an internal iliac artery results from anastomoses

    1) with branches of the opposite internal iliac,

    2) between parietal branches and branches of the femoral artery in the thigh, and

    3) between the superior and middle rectal arteries.

    The collateral circulation may be demonstrated by arteriography. The collateral channels also supply the lower part of the abdomen if the abdominal aorta is obstructed, and the lower limb if the femoral artery is obstructed.

    Three other arteries enter the pelvis

    a) Median sacral

    b) Inferior mesentric

    c) Ovarian artery