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Internal Iliac Vein
Cardiovascular System

Internal Iliac Vein

Vena iliaca interna

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Quick Facts

Origin: Union of multiple veins of the pelvis.

Course: Ascends from the greater sciatic notch, to unite with the external iliac vein at the pelvic brim forming the common iliac vein.

Tributaries: Obturator, superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, lateral sacral, vesical, middle rectal, internal pudendal, uterine, vaginal, and lateral sacral veins.

Drainage: Pelvis, perineum, gluteal region, and medial thigh.

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Origin

The tributaries of the internal iliac vein are more variable than the internal iliac artery. The internal iliac vein is formed by the union of multiple veins including the obturator, superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, lateral sacral, vesical, middle rectal, internal pudendal, uterine, vaginal (when present), and lateral sacral veins.

Course

From its origin, the internal iliac vein ascends to the pelvic brim, posteromedial to the internal iliac artery, and unites with the external iliac vein to form the common iliac vein.

Tributaries

There are several anatomical variances in the tributaries of the internal iliac vein; however the veins drain similar territories of the internal iliac artery, i.e., structures of the internal pelvis. This includes the obturator, superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, lateral sacral, vesical, middle rectal, internal pudendal, uterine, and vaginal veins. Additionally, blood from the pelvic venous plexuses is drained into the internal iliac veins, including the uterine, vaginal (female), prostatic (male), and vesical venous plexuses.

Structures Drained

The obturator vein drains the deep structures of the pelvis (including the obturator foramen and the hip joint) and medial thigh. The vaginal and uterine veins drain the majority of the female reproductive tract, and the internal pudendal vein drains the perineum. The superior and inferior gluteal veins contribute to the drainage of the gluteal region, while the middle rectal vein drain blood from the rectum into the systemic circulation, via the internal iliac veins.

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Internal Iliac Vein

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The internal iliac vein is formed by the confluence of the obturator, branches of the internal pudendal, and gluteal veins, which originate in the thigh, perineum, and buttock respectively.

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