Arterial supply of the Abdominal Wall

  • This section covers
    1. Arterial supply of the muscles of the abdominal wall
    2. Arterial supply of the abdominal surface (i.e. skin)

Arterial supply of abdominal wall muscles

  • Arterial supply to the abdominal wall comes mainly from 4 arteries:
    • These supply the abdominal wall either deep, superficially, or both
  1. Lumbar arteries (arise from the abdominal aorta)
  • There are four lumbar arteries
  • Travel posterior to psoas/quadratus muscles and then enter the anterolateral wall between the IO and TA muscles
  • End near the rectus abdominis
  • Each artery also gives off a dorsal branch 
Branching and paths of the lumbar arteries. Created using Complete Anatomy by 34D Medical.
  1. Superior epigastric artery (from Internal Thoracic Artery)
    • Terminal branch of the Internal Thoracic Artery
    • Supplies diaphragm
    • Anastomoses with inferior epigastric artery
Branching and path of the superior epigastric artery. Created using Complete Anatomy by 34D Medical.
  1. Inferior epigastric artery (from distal external iliac)
    • Rises superomedially deep to the transversalis fascia (i.e. behind rectus)
    • However, it then enters the posterior rectus sheath to run behind the rectus (at the arcuate line)
    • Anastomoses with the branches of the superficial epigastric via perforators through rectus abdominis
    • Also anastomoses with superior epigastric artery

      Branching and path of the inferior epigastric artery. Created using Complete Anatomy by 34D Medical.
  2. Superficial epigastric artery (from the femoral artery)
    • Rises within the subcutaneous fascia
    • Anastomoses with the branches of the inferior epigastric via perforators through rectus abdominis
    • Also anastomoses with contralateral artery
Branching and path of the superficial epigastric artery. Created using Complete Anatomy by 34D Medical.

Surface Supply

  • Surface supply can split into abdominal regions
    • Hypochondriac – supplied by musculophrenic artery
    • Epigastric – supplied by superior epigastric artery
    • Umbilical region supplied by all three epigastric arteries
      1. Deep supply from Superior epigastric artery + Inferior epigastric artery
      2. Superficial supply fromSuperficial epigastric artery
    • Lumbar region supplied by subcostal and 10th/11th posterior intercostals
    • Pubic region supplied by inferior + superficial epigastric a.s
    • Iliac regions are supplied by the superficial + deep iliac arteries