External iliac artery

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 13 Oct 2022

The external iliac artery (EIA) is the larger of the two terminal branches of the common iliac artery (CIA).

Gross anatomy


The common iliac artery bifurcates into the internal iliac artery and external iliac artery at the level of the pelvic brim anterior to the sacroiliac joint. 


The external iliac artery courses medially along the iliopsoas muscle 1. After it enters the thigh under the inguinal ligament, it changes name and continues as the common femoral artery, supplying the lower limb.


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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: iliac arteries (Gray's illustration)
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