Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 618
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.

Relations.—Within the pelvis, it lies in front of the Piriformis muscle, the sacral plexus of nerves, and the inferior gluteal artery. As it crosses the ischial spine, it is covered by the Glutæus maximus and overlapped by the sacrotuberous ligament. Here the pudendal nerve lies to the medial side and the nerve to the Obturator internus to the lateral side of the vessel. In the perineum it lies on the lateral wall of the ischiorectal fossa, in a canal (Alcock’s canal) formed by the splitting of the obturator fascia. It is accompanied by a pair of venæ comitantes and the pudendal nerve.

Peculiarities.—The internal pudendal artery is sometimes smaller than usual, or fails to give off one or two of its usual branches; in such cases the deficiency is supplied by branches derived from an additional vessel, the accessory pudendal, which generally arises from the internal pudendal artery before its exit from the greater sciatic foramen. It passes forward along the lower part of the bladder and across the side of the prostate to the root of the penis, where it perforates the urogenital diaphragm, and gives off the branches usually derived from the internal pudendal artery. The deficiency most frequently met with is that in which the internal pudendal ends as the artery of the urethral bulb, the dorsal and deep arteries of the penis being derived from the accessory pudendal. The internal pudendal artery may also end as the perineal, the artery of the urethral bulb being derived, with the other two branches, from the accessory vessel. Occasionally the accessory pudendal artery is derived from one of the other branches of the hypogastric artery, most frequently the inferior vesical or the obturator.

Branches.—The branches of the internal pudendal artery (Figs. 542, 543) are:
Artery of the Urethral Bulb.
Inferior Hemorrhoidal.
Deep Artery of the Penis.
Dorsal Artery of the Penis.

FIG. 542– The superficial branches of the internal pudendal artery. (See enlarged image)

  The Muscular Branches consist of two sets: one given off in the pelvis; the other, as the vessel crosses the ischial spine. The former consists of several small offsets which supply the Levator ani, the Obturator internus, the Piriformis, and the Coccygeus. The branches given off outside the pelvis are distributed to the adjacent parts of the Glutæus maximus and external rotator muscles. They anastomose with branches of the inferior gluteal artery.


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