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Inferior Gluteal Artery
Cardiovascular System

Inferior Gluteal Artery

Arteria glutea inferior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Anterior division of internal iliac artery.

Course: Descends posteriorly between the piriformis and coccygeus (ischiococcygeus) muscles to enter the gluteal region through the greater sciatic foramen.

Branches: Artery to sciatic nerve.

Supplied Structures: Pelvic diaphragm, piriformis, quadratus femoris, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, skin of buttock, and posterior thigh.

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Origin

The inferior gluteal artery originates as the larger terminal branch of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery.

Course

The inferior gluteal artery descends posteriorly from its origin. It passes anterior to the sacral plexus and piriformis muscle and passes between the first and second (or second and third) anterior rami of the sacral nerves. The inferior gluteal artery then descends between the piriformis and coccygeus muscles to enter the gluteal region through the lower part of the greater sciatic foramen.

The inferior gluteal artery continues to descend between the greater trochanter of femur and the ischial tuberosity, along with the sciatic and posterior femoral cutaneous nerves, to enter the thigh.

Branches

The inferior gluteal artery often gives off an artery to sciatic nerve, which accompanies the sciatic nerve along its course. However, the origin of this artery may vary (Georgakis and Soames, 2008).

Supplied Structures

The inferior gluteal artery supplies the coccygeus, iliococcygeus (levator ani), piriformis, gluteus maximus, superior gemellus, and biceps femoris muscles. It also supplies the skin of the buttock and posterior thigh.

References

Georgakis, E. and Soames, R. (2008) 'Arterial supply to the sciatic nerve in the gluteal region', Clin Anat, 21(1), pp. 62-5.

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Inferior Gluteal Artery

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The inferior gluteal artery begins to extend laterally to supply the gluteal soft tissues and musculature, while the pudendal nerve will progress anteriorly toward the perineum.

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