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Flashcards in Lecture 24 RH Deck (41)
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Where do the iliac arteries come from? At what level does the aorta split?

1) Abdominal aorta branches at level of L4/5 disk and divides into 2 branches; one to the right and the other to the left.

2)Both branches are called common iliac arteries.

3)Common iliac arteries further branch into internal and external iliac arteries.

*Number here denotes steps along the path of the arteries


Where do the veins of the pelvis go and what are they called?

Veins accompany major arteries and are named similar to the arteries. IVC is the point where they meet at L5.


What is the iliopectineal line?

rim of the pelvis is the iliopectineal line which separates the true (greater) pelvis from the false (lesser) pelvis.


Where do the common iliac arteries split into the internal and external iliac arteries?

at the iliopectineal line.


What structures does the internal iliac artery supply?


pelvic wall (somatic/parietal branches)


What are the other arteries that supply the pelvis?

Branches from outside of the pelvis

ovarian/testicular arteries

Superior rectal (from inferior mesenteric artery) to sigmoid colon and upper rectum.

Median sacral artery


Which vein is unusual in the pelvis?

inferior rectal vein is part of portosystemic anastomosis and drains into liver rather than IVC


What is interesting about the parietal branches of the internal iliac artery?

Parietal branches of internal iliac are variable in how they form.


What are the parietal branches of the internal iliac artery?

Anterior and posterior branches.


What does the posterior iliac artery divide into and what does each branch supply?

Iliolumbar: Supplies body wall of iliolumbar region.

Lateral sacral: Supplies lateral sacral region

Superior gluteal: supplies superior gluteal region.


What does the anterior iliac artery supply?

Obturator artery: supplies the obturator region

Inferior gluteal:

Internal Pudendal: Supplies the perineal region (including skin), the external genitalia, and the pelvic floor


Where does the superior gluteal artery go and how?

Superior gluteal artery goes to the gluteal region and goes through the greater sciatic foramen following piriformis superiorly.

*The superior gluteal nerve also exits at this region.


What are the visceral branches of the internal iliac artery?

3 major visceral branches:

Middle rectal:

Uterine: It is tortuous due to enlargement during pregnancy.



What are some organs supplied by end arteries?







What is the clinical significance of end organs/arteries?

Vasoconstrictor drugs are harmful if injected into end organs.


What are the principles underlying veins in the pelvis?

Veins form many plexuses in the pelvic region.

No valves are present.


Where do veins of the pelvis drain into?

They drain to tributaries of internal iliac vein which also communicate with internal venous plexus


How do cancer cells spread from the prostate?

cancer cells can spread via venous system


What is the problem with the prostate venous plexus regarding cancer cells?

Prostatic venous plexus normally drains to tributaries of the IVC. Sacral veins also drain to IVC through holes in the sacrum. As a result, cancer cells could potentially spread to the vertebral column via these veins and through the vertebral column it could spread to other parts of the body.


What is the significance of the communication between the inferior mesenteric vein and the liver?

inferior mesenteric vein could potentially take cancer cells to the liver


What are portosystemic anastomoses and what is a potential problem that could result from it?

Varices of veins going to the liver could result from blockage of the liver. These varices could potentially fall below anal canal to the exterior. This problem is what causes haemorrhoids.


What is the result of distension of blood vessels in rectum + anal canal?

varices in upper part of anal canal generate pressure (discomfort).

Varices in lower part of anal canal generate pain due to somatic innervation of anal canal.


How does lymph drain the perineum?

Superficial lymph nodes drain the perineum (anal and urogenital triangles). Superficial lymph nodes drain into deep lymphnodes of the inguinal region (inguinal nodes) and the deep lymph nodes pass near the vertebral column to the left brachiocephalic vein.


What lymphatics drain the pelvic viscera?

pelvic viscera drain directly to deep lymph nodes of abdominal region.


What is the principle underlying lymphatic drainage of the testis and the scrotum?

Testis and scrotum are drained by vessels that drain the area of their embryological origins.

Testis to nodes on posterior abdominal wall.

Scrotum drains to inguinal nodes.


What is a sign of cancer of abdominal viscera or the testis?

Enlargement of the left supraclavicular node (sentinal node).


What are the somatic nerves of the pelvis?

Main parietal branches are the obturator nerve and the pudendal nerve.


What does the sacral plexus supply?

Sacral plexus (S2 - 4) supplies muscles of the pelvis and gluteal region


What is the course of the pudendal nerve before it branches?

Pudendal nerve arises at sacral plexus.

Pudendal nerve enters pelvic cavity via the greater sciatic foramen and then exits via the lesser sciatic foramen.

it then enters fossa in the ischioanal fossa.


What are the branches of the pudendal nerve?

Inferior rectal nerve

Penneal + muscular branches

Posterior scrotal nerve

Dorsal nerve of clitoris/penis (also contains cavernous nerves)