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Superior epigastric artery

Other Terms: Arteria epigastrica superior, Artère épigastrique supérieure


The superior epigastric artery, one of the terminal branches of the internal thoracic artery, is the direct continuation of it. It leaves the thorax by passing downward posterior to the seventh costal cartilage or to the xiphoid cartilage and through the space between the costal and sternal attachments of the diaphragm. It then enters the sheath of the rectus abdominis muscle. It anastomoses with branches of the inferior epigastric artery. This forms the longest anastomosis in the body. It gives off some small branches to the diaphragm; a xiphoid branch, which anastomoses with the same branch of the opposite side; a few cutaneous branches; muscular branches to the rectus abdominis muscle; several small hepatic branches that reach the liver by running along the falciform ligament and anastomose with the hepatic artery, and some peritoneal branches, which pierce the posterior wall of the sheath of the rectus abdominis muscle and supply the peritoneum.


Arteria epigastrica superior


Artère épigastrique supérieure


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