Lumbar arteries

The lumbar arteries are paired branches of the abdominal aorta arising in the lumbar region.

Gross anatomy

Origin

There are most commonly four paired lumbar arteries originating as posterolateral branches of the abdominal aorta on either side, at the level of L1-4.

Course

The paired arteries course posterolaterally along the vertebral bodies, the right-sided arteries posterior to the inferior vena cava (IVC), then pass under the tendinous arches of psoas major and sympathetic trunks. After crossing quadratus lumborum, the arteries enter the space between the transversus abdominis and internal oblique muscles. There are anastomoses with the lower intercostal, subcostal, iliolumbar, deep iliac circumflex, inferior epigastric and contralateral lumbar arteries.

Branches

Dorsal branches, which give rise to the spinal branches that enter the vertebral canal.

Supply

Dorsal muscles of the back, fascia, ligaments, vertebrae and intervertebral discs.

Variant anatomy

A smaller fifth pair of lumbar arteries may be present, arising from the median sacral artery. The lumbar arteries may arise from a common trunk.

Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article information

rID: 43319
System: Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lumbar artery

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