Superior epigastric artery

In human anatomy, the superior epigastric artery is a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood to the abdominal wall,[1][2] and upper rectus abdominis muscle.[1]

Superior epigastric artery
Superior epigastric artery, internal thoracic artery and inferior epigastric artery. (Superior epigastric artery is labeled at right center.)
Sourceinternal thoracic
Veinsuperior epigastric vein
Latinarteria epigastrica superior
Anatomical terminology


The superior epigastric artery arises from the internal thoracic artery (referred to as the internal mammary artery in the accompanying diagram).[3][4] It anastomoses with the inferior epigastric artery at the umbilicus.[3] Along its course, it is accompanied by a similarly named vein, the superior epigastric vein.[citation needed]


Where it anastomoses, the superior epigastric artery supplies the anterior part of the abdominal wall,[1][2] upper rectus abdominis muscle,[1] and some of the diaphragm.[citation needed]

Collateralization in diseaseEdit

Vascular diseaseEdit

The superior epigastric arteries, inferior epigastric arteries, internal thoracic arteries and left subclavian artery and right subclavian artery / brachiocephalic are collateral vessels to the thoracic aorta and abdominal aorta. If the abdominal aorta develops a significant stenosis and/or blockage (as may be caused by atherosclerosis), this collateral pathway may develop sufficiently, over time, to supply blood to the lower limbs.[5]

Coarctation of the aortaEdit

A congenitally narrowed aorta, due to coarctation, is often associated with a significant enlargement of the internal thoracic and epigastric arteries.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Shell, Dan H.; Vásconez, Luis O.; de la Torre, Jorge I.; Chin, Gloria; Weinzweig, Norman (January 1, 2010), Weinzweig, Jeffrey (ed.), "Chapter 91 - Abdominal Wall Reconstruction", Plastic Surgery Secrets Plus (Second Edition), Philadelphia: Mosby, pp. 594–604, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-03470-8.00091-0, ISBN 978-0-323-03470-8, retrieved November 22, 2020
  2. ^ a b DiEdwardo, Christine A.; Caterson, Stephanie A.; Barrall, David T. (January 1, 2010), Weinzweig, Jeffrey (ed.), "Chapter 80 - Abdominoplasty", Plastic Surgery Secrets Plus (Second Edition), Philadelphia: Mosby, pp. 532–537, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-03470-8.00080-6, ISBN 978-0-323-03470-8, retrieved November 22, 2020
  3. ^ a b Castro Ferreira, Marcus; Henrique Ishida, Luis; Munhoz, Alexandre (January 1, 2009), Wei, Fu-Chan; Mardini, Samir (eds.), "CHAPTER 19 - Rectus flap", Flaps and Reconstructive Surgery, Edinburgh: W.B. Saunders, pp. 207–223, doi:10.1016/b978-0-7216-0519-7.00019-8, ISBN 978-0-7216-0519-7, retrieved November 22, 2020
  4. ^ Ahmed, Abdul (January 1, 2017), Brennan, Peter A.; Schliephake, Henning; Ghali, G. E.; Cascarini, Luke (eds.), "37 - Common Free Vascularized Flaps: The Rectus Abdominis", Maxillofacial Surgery (Third Edition), Churchill Livingstone, pp. 533–542, doi:10.1016/b978-0-7020-6056-4.00038-1, ISBN 978-0-7020-6056-4, retrieved November 22, 2020
  5. ^ Yurdakul M, Tola M, Ozdemir E, Bayazit M, Cumhur T (April 2006). "Internal thoracic artery-inferior epigastric artery as a collateral pathway in aortoiliac occlusive disease". J. Vasc. Surg. 43 (4): 707–13. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2005.12.042. PMID 16616225.
  6. ^ Huhmann W, Kunitsch G, Dalichau H (1976). "[Coarctation of the aorta on the plain chest x-ray (author's transl)]". Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 101 (41): 1477–81. doi:10.1055/s-0028-1104294. PMID 964150.

External linksEdit