Medial umbilical ligament

The medial umbilical ligament (or cord of umbilical artery, or obliterated umbilical artery) is a paired structure found in human anatomy. It is on the deep surface of the anterior abdominal wall, and is covered by the medial umbilical folds (plicae umbilicales mediales). It should not be confused with the median umbilical ligament, a different structure that represents the remnant of the embryonic urachus.

Medial umbilical ligament
The peritoneum of the male pelvis. (Medial umbilical ligament labeled at bottom left.)
Posterior view of the anterior abdominal wall in its lower half. The peritoneum is in place, and the various cords are shining through.
LatinChorda arteriae umbilicalis,
Ligamentum umbilicale mediale
Anatomical terminology


It represents the remnant of the fetal umbilical arteries, which serves no purpose in humans after birth, except for the initial part that becomes the adult superior vesical artery.

The medial umbilical ligament arises from the anterior division of the internal iliac artery.


It may be used as a landmark for surgeons exploring the medial inguinal fossa during laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Other than this, it has no purpose in an adult and it may be cut or damaged with impunity.


The supravesical fossa, and therefore a supravesical hernia, is medial to this structure. The medial inguinal fossa, and therefore a direct inguinal hernia, is lateral to it.

See also

  • Medial umbilical ligament
  • Medial umbilical fold
    • Anatomy figure: 36:03-10 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Internal surface of the anterior abdominal wall."

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