Inferior Gluteal Artery

Written by Charlotte Eeckelers

Last updated September 26, 2023 • 7 Revisions

The inferior gluteal artery is a terminal branch of the internal iliac artery.

It contributes to the blood supply to the gluteal region and posterior thigh.

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Course

The inferior gluteal artery arises within the pelvis as the terminal branch of the anterior trunk of the internal iliac artery.

It passes inferiorly, between the S2 and S3 nerve roots, before leaving the pelvic cavity via the greater sciatic foramen.

It enters the gluteal region inferiorly to the piriformis muscle. It then moves downwards, between the greater trochanter of the femur and ischial tuberosity of the pelvis.

Within the proximal posterior thigh, the inferior gluteal artery divides into its terminal branches.

Fig 1
Superior and inferior gluteal arteries.

Supply

The inferior gluteal artery contributes to the blood supply to the following structures:

  • Muscles of the gluteal region – gluteus maximus, medius, minimus, piriformis, obturator internus, quadratus femoris.
  • Head of the femur
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Proximal posterior thigh skin and musculature