Persistent sciatic artery

A persistent sciatic artery is a rare vascular anomaly where there is the continuation of the internal iliac artery into the thigh through the greater sciatic notch. It may be the dominant artery supplying the leg, in which case the superficial femoral artery may be small.

It may be bilateral in up to 25% of cases.

  • Cowie's sign: described as a diminished or absent femoral pulse in combination with a palpable popliteal pulse
    • considered to be pathognomonic for a persistent sciatic artery 4

Just as with any artery, it can be complicated by aneurysm formation or early atherosclerosis.

Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article information

rID: 7398
System: Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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