Middle rectal artery

The middle rectal artery, also known as the middle haemorrhoidal artery, is a branch from the anterior division of the internal iliac artery supplying the rectum.

Origin

The middle rectal artery originates from the anterior division of the internal iliac artery. It passes inferiorly towards the lower rectum, which it then supplies by splitting into several smaller branches prior to entering the rectum.

Branches

If a prostatic branch is present, it may also supply the seminal vesicle and prostate but more commonly, these branches arise from the inferior vesical artery.

Supply

The middle rectal artery supplies the inferior rectum, and anastomoses with the superior and inferior rectal arteries here.

The middle rectal artery may arise close to from a common origin with the inferior vesical artery. It may also arise from the internal pudendal artery, inferior gluteal artery or directly off the internal iliac artery. It may occasionally be absent in both sexes. It is more often it is absent in women than in men. In some cases it may be replaced by an uterine artery. In males, the prostatic artery may arise from the middle rectal artery instead of from the inferior vesical artery.


Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 40558
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Middle haemorrhoidal artery

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