Color-flow Doppler ultrasound was used to assess the anatomic characteristics of the inferior epigastric artery (IEA) bilaterally in 20 nonatherosclerotic (group I; mean age, 28 years) and 20 atherosclerotic (group II; mean age, 57 years) subjects. Forty-nine percent of the IEAs were located laterally within the rectus sheath with 34% in a mid and 17% in a medial location. Seventeen percent had a large branch within 5 cm of the origin. Average length of the IEA was 10.7 ± 3.2 cm. Average proximal and distal internal diameters were 3.0 ± 0.45 and 1.9 ± 0.35 mm, respectively. Neither length nor vessel diameter showed any correlation with age or body surface area. Sixty-two percent of the IEAs were greater than or equal to 9 cm in length and 1.5 mm in distal diameter. Stenosis of the vessel (more than 50% diameter) was noted at the proximal 1 cm segment in 20% of the IEAs in the atherosclerotic group but none of the IEAs in the nonatherosclerotic group. Beyond this proximal segment, there was freedom from atherosclerotic stenosis as demonstrated by the IEAs' similarity of length and diameter irrespective of age in these atherosclerotic and nonatherosclerotic populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine