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Anatomical study of the inferior vesical artery: is it specific to the male sex?

  • Anatomic Bases of Medical, Radiological and Surgical Techniques
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The aim of our study was to clarify the origin of the inferior vesical artery and determine its existence in women.


This descriptive study is based on 25 dissections (6 male and 19 female cadavers). We dissected the internal iliac artery and its branches from the iliac bifurcation, bilaterally and comparatively. Each arterial branch supplying the bladder was identified and dissected as far as the bladder.


In total, 50 topographies of the bladder vascularization were visualised. The inferior vesical artery was observed in 92% of the male subjects and in 47.4% of the female subjects. In the male cadavers, it arose from the internal iliac artery in 72.7% of cases and from the umbilical artery in 27.3% of cases. In the female cadavers, it arose from a common trunk with the umbilical artery and the uterine artery in 33.3% of cases and directly from the umbilical artery in 33.3% with one terminal branch supplying the upper part of the vagina. In two female subjects, the inferior vesical artery arose from the first segment of the uterine artery (22.2%), and in one subject from the obturator artery (11.1%).


The inferior vesical artery is not specific to the male sex. The contradictions found in the literature of this artery are due to the variations observed in pelvic vascularization and to the close connections between vaginal and bladder vascularisation in women. However, surgeons should consider these variations, to prevent bladder devascularization by non-selective ligation.

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We would like to thank Gisele Ponsolle, Magalie Ramos, Hubert Desroques, and Philipe Peugeot for their technical support.

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Correspondence to E. Chantalat.

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de Treigny, O.M., Roumiguie, M., Deudon, R. et al. Anatomical study of the inferior vesical artery: is it specific to the male sex?. Surg Radiol Anat 39, 961–965 (2017).

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