Inferior phrenic artery

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The inferior phrenic arteries (IPA) are paired branches of the abdominal aorta / coeliac trunk supplying the diaphragm. Their importance lies with the fact that the right IPA is the most common extrahepatic arterial supply of a hepatocellular carcinoma


  • origin: abdominal aorta or coeliac trunk at the level of T12-L2
  • course: ascends anterolateral to the diaphragmatic crus, near the medial border of the adrenal gland, on the inferior surface of the diaphragm. The left inferior phrenic artery passes posteriorly to the oesophagus then runs anteriorly on the left side of the oesophageal hiatus. The right inferior phrenic artery passes posterior to the inferior vena cava and then runs anteriorly on the right side of the vena caval foramen. Each divides into medial and lateral branches near the posterior border of the central tendon of the diaphragm.
  • branches:
  • supply: diaphragm, inferior vena cava, oesophagus, liver (capsule and segments II, III, VII, and bare area)

Variant anatomy

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
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Article information

rID: 35689
System: Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Inferior phrenic arteries
  • Inferior phrenic artery (IPA)
  • Left inferior phrenic artery
  • Right inferior phrenic artery

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