Superior gluteal artery

The superior gluteal artery is the largest branch of the internal iliac artery, and appears to be the continuation of the posterior division of that vessel. It is a short artery which runs backward between the lumbosacral trunk and the first sacral nerve, and divides into a superficial and a deep branch after passing out of the pelvis above the upper border of the piriformis muscle.

Superior gluteal artery
Left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve
Internal iliac artery and some of its branches
(superior gluteal artery labeled at right)
SourceInternal iliac artery
VeinSuperior gluteal veins
SuppliesGluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae
LatinArteria glutaea superior
Anatomical terminology

Within the pelvis, it gives off branches to the iliacus, piriformis, and obturator internus muscles. Just previous to exiting the pelvic cavity, it also gives off a nutrient artery which enters the ilium.[1]


Superficial branch

The superficial branch enters the deep surface of the gluteus maximus, and divides into numerous branches, some of which supply the muscle and anastomose with the inferior gluteal artery, while others perforate its tendinous origin, and supply the integument covering the posterior surface of the sacrum, anastomosing with the posterior branches of the lateral sacral arteries.[1]

Deep branch

The deep branch lies under the gluteus medius and almost immediately subdivides into the superior and inferior divisions.

The superior division continues the original course of the vessel, passingalong the upper border of the gluteus minimus to the anterior superior spine of the ilium (ASIS), anastomosing with the deep iliac circumflex artery and the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery.

The inferior division crosses the gluteus minimus obliquely to the greater trochanter, distributing branches to the gluteal muscles and anastomoses with the lateral femoral circumflex artery.

Some branches pierce the gluteus minimus and supply the hip-joint.[1]


This artery takes part in the trochanteric anastomoses, forming a connection between internal iliac and femoral artery.

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 622 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. "Gray, Henry. 1918. Anatomy of the Human Body. Page 622". Retrieved 2018-05-03.
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