Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 2: Dia-Ins
Todd, Robert Bentley
aorta upon the left side of the spine ; Velpeau, 
however, seems to question the existence of any 
difference in the length of the two vessels, inas¬ 
much as the right divides generally nearer to the 
spine than the left, the inclination of their origin 
to the left being thus compensated, but to what¬ 
ever extent this view may hold good, it is by no 
means strictly correct ; in fact the length of the 
arteries, whether comparative or absolute, is far 
from regular; nor is the preponderance, when 
present, always upon the same side ; the opinion 
generally entertained is probably correct, the 
right artery being in the majority of instances 
somewhat longer than the left ; but the writer 
has found the left the longer of the two, and 
the same disposition has been observed by J. F. 
Meckel; this is,however, an unusual disposition. 
The relations of the arteries are simple. 
During their descent they are situate in front of 
the bodies of the lumbar vertebrae, with the 
intervening fibro-cartilages, of one, two, or more 
of these bones, according to the height at which 
the arteries arise, and also of the lateral part of 
the base of the sacrum ; they are both covered 
upon three sides by the peritoneum, viz. in 
front and laterally, the membrane descending 
upon them from the root of the mesentery ; the 
mesentery itself also and the small intestines 
are placed before them, and the latter overlap 
them upon either side. Farther, they are in 
front of the superior branches of the middle 
sacral artery and of the sympathetic nerve. 
That of the right side at its outset is placed 
before the left primitive iliac vein, which it 
crosses at its junction with the cava, and par¬ 
tially before the commencement of the cava 
itself; during its course it is in front of the 
right primitive vein, at first only partially, but, 
as it proceeds, covering it to a greater extent, 
until at its termination it is directly before it. 
External to both, but on a plane posterior to 
them, are the psose muscles, the left artery how¬ 
ever being nearer to the muscle than the right, 
between which and the psoas the right primitive 
vein and the cava intervene, being at the same 
time posterior to it. 
Internal to both at their origin is the middle 
sacral artery ; on the left side the left primitive 
vein lies along the inside of the artery, but on a 
plane behind it. 
Anteriorly the arteries are crossed at their 
termination by the corresponding ureter, that 
duct being interposed between the peritoneum 
and the vessel, but more adherent to the former. 
The relation of the ureter to the iliac arteries is 
not uniform, either on opposite sides or in 
different subjects ; the bifurcation of the pri¬ 
mitive iliac may be assumed as the mean point 
of reference for its transit, the duct descending 
into the pelvis between the external and internal 
iliacs, and before the internal ; but its precise 
relation will depend upon the height at which 
the bifurcation takes place and the side of the 
body to which it belongs, and hence it very 
frequently, if not usually, crosses the external 
iliac upon the right and the termination of the 
internal on the left. 
The artery and vein, the relations of which 
differ remarkably upon the two sides, the vein 
being external upon the right and internal upon 
the left, and upon both posterior, are enclosed 
within a condensed cellular investment, pro¬ 
longed upward upon the aorta and downward 
upon the secondary iliacs ; upon the primitive 
vessels it is so thin that it may at times seem 
absent; but, as it descends, it increases in 
thickness, and acquires upon the external iliacs 
considerable strength. 
The primitive iliac arteries ordinarily give 
only minute branches to the adjoining parts, 
viz. the ureter, the peritoneum, the vein, lym¬ 
phatic glands and cellular structure ; but occa¬ 
sionally they have been found to give off the 
ilio-lumbar artery, and more rarely a renal or 
spermatic artery.* 
Although, according to the view usually taken, 
the primitive iliac terminates by dividing into 
internal and external, yet in many instances it 
will be found that the primitive and external 
iliacs appear as one vessel giving off the internal 
from its posterior side, and nearly at right 
angles, while in the foetus the reverse seems the 
case, the primitive and internal being continuous 
and rather giving off the external. 
Internal iliac artery.-]- (Arteria iliaca 
interna, s. hypogastrica, s. umbilicalis; Fr. 
artere iliaque interne, ou hypogastrique ; Germ. 
Becken-pulsader oder innere Huft-pulsader.) 
This artery from the time of birth supplies the 
viscera and parietes of the pelvis, both externally 
and internally ; prior to that epoch it is the 
channel through which the blood is trans¬ 
mitted from the body of the foetus to the 
placenta, whence it may then be termed with 
propriety the “ placental artery,” since such is 
its chief office, the other distribution being of 
inconsiderable extent, and the divisions of the 
artery intended for it small in proportion ; 
hence the vessel presents a remarkable contrast 
at the two periods of life, in the foetus being a 
large and long vessel extending from the ter¬ 
mination of the aorta, for, as has been before 
stated, it seems at that time the continuation of 
the primitive iliac artery, to the placenta giving 
off in its course small branches to the viscera 
and parietes of the pelvis, while in after life the 
placental artery has disappeared, and in its 
stead is found a short trunk of considerable 
size,—the commencement of the placental 
artery as it had been—from which arise nume¬ 
rous vessels for the pelvis and its viscera. 
The internal iliac arises from the posterior 
side of the primitive iliac artery,]; between the 
body of the last lumbar vertebra or the sacro- 
vertebral angle, and the sacro-iliac articulation, 
but generally higher upon the right side than 
the left ; it descends into the pelvis in front of 
* J. F. Meckel. 
f The internal iliac and its branches should be 
examined first with the pelvis complete, the peri¬ 
toneum and viscera being detached from its lateral 
wall, and the latter alternately empty and distended ; 
afterward a section of the pelvis may be made 
through the symphysis pubis and the middle of the 
sacrum, preserving the viscera with their attach¬ 
ments to one side ; but this should not be done 
until after the dissection of the perineum. 
I See primitive iliac for point and mode of 


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