Variation in the Branching Pattern of the Internal Iliac Artery




Chase, Jeff


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The purpose of this project is to report, analyze and interpret the anatomical variability of the branches of the internal iliac artery, while exploring clinical correlations and forming solutions to alleviate potential student confusion. Branching patterns were observed and recorded by medical students using anatomical variation data sheets (n=111). A meta-analysis of anatomy textbooks and atlases (n=20) was conducted to find out how often the variability of the internal iliac artery is mentioned or depicted. This provided proxy data on whether or not students might have had knowledge of possible variation, and if so what kind of information was given. Internal pudendal artery, inferior gluteal artery and middle rectal artery all variably share trunks with one or more of the other arteries. This variability was commonly found in research publications but was inconsistently explained or depicted in textbooks and atlases. When it was mentioned or shown, statistical evidence of frequencies was not used adequately. Providing students, clinicians and researchers with an accurate representation of the branching pattern will enable better understanding, improving educational and clinical outcomes.