This study aims to assess the characteristics of the internal iliac artery and to examine correlations between the internal iliac artery and other anatomic structures in the pelvis. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the period between October 2019 and May 2020. Eighteen samples of the left and right internal iliac arteries were taken from formaldehyde-embalmed female cadavers at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Department of Anatomy. The study showed that the origins of most internal iliac arteries were located by the lumbar vertebrae 4-5. The mean distance from the origin of the internal iliac artery origin to the sacral promontory was 33.95 ± 3.35 mm (on the left), and 31.70 ± 4.64 mm (on the right). The internal iliac artery always had two big branches – anterior and posterior. A third branch was an ilio-lumbar artery, often seen by 43.33%. The diameters of those internal iliac artery branches were comparable on both sides, and the branches of similar name had a little larger diameter on the left than on the right.
The internal iliac artery always has two large anterior and posterior branches; in some cases, it has a third branch called ilio-lumbar artery. The internal iliac artery’s length from its origin to the initial branch division is comparable for both right and left sides. The distance from the internal iliac artery’s origin to the sacral promontory is suggestive for surgeons to find the internal iliac artery after determining the sacral promontory.