Superior epigastric artery

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

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


The superior epigastric artery arises from the internal thoracic artery (referred to as the internal mammary artery in the accompanying diagram). It anastomoses with the inferior epigastric artery at the umbilicus. 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, upper rectus abdominis muscle, and some of the diaphragm.[citation needed]

Collateralization in disease

Vascular disease

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.

Coarctation of the aorta

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

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-09-20 01:10 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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