Corona mortis

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 09 Nov 2021

Corona mortis, Latin for "crown of death", is a common variant vascular anastomosis between the external iliac artery or deep inferior epigastric artery and the obturator artery. It is reported to be present in a third of patients on routine multidetector CT examination 1,4.

Knowledge of this variant vascular anastomosis is critical for surgical planning and in pelvic trauma, as it is susceptible to vascular injury given its posterior relation to the superior pubic rami 2.

A study of 100 pelvic CTA scans 5 found this variant to be:

  • more common in females
  • more commonly unilateral than bilateral (2:1)
  • distance from the pubic symphysis ranges from 35-72 mm
  • vessel diameter ranges from 1.4-3.7 mm
  • not seen in smaller pelvises
  • potentially occluded in patients with known peripheral vascular disease

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Cases and figures

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