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External Elastic Membrane
Blood Vessels

External Elastic Membrane

Membrana elastic externa

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Quick Facts

The external elastic membrane is a fenestrated elastic membrane that constitutes the innermost component of the tunica externa of arteries (Dorland, 2011).

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The external elastic membrane (or lamina) is a layer is found outside the smooth muscle of the tunica media separating the tunica media from the tunica externa in the artery wall. The external elastic lamina is composed of sheets of elastic connective tissue.

Anatomical Relations

The external elastic membrane lies between the tunica media and the tunica externa.


The external elastic lamina serves to provide a readily deformable, compliant structure surrounding the lumen of the vessel to enable diameter changes when needed.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

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