External iliac artery
The external iliac artery is a major blood vessel transporting oxygenated blood out of the pelvic region and into the leg. As a paired artery, the human body actually possesses two external iliac arteries, one with a "right" designation, and the other with a "left." Each vessel arises from a common iliac artery, which branches off of the abdominal aorta. Like its external branch, the common iliac is paired with right and left versions. This corresponds with the right and left leg. Each external iliac artery splits into multiple branches, including the femoral, inferior epigastic, and deep iliac circumflex arteries. Also, each external iliac artery has a venae comitantes relationship with the body's venal system. Close to the blood vessel, there are the similarly named internal iliac veins. These vessels actively drain deoxygenated blood away from the pelvic region and transmit it back to the heart and lungs. Once reoxygenated in the lungs, the heart pumps this blood back into the arterial system.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: External iliac artery