QUICKmedicine app

umbilical arteries (changes after birth)

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.


The umbilical arteries obliterate after birth. It occurs by two means:

  • functional obliteration:
    • occurs within a few minutes of birth
    • due to:
      • thrombosis in the lumen after ligating the umbilical cord
      • mechanical stimuli at birth
      • reduced oxygen tension through the vessel
  • anatomical obliteration:
    • takes several months
    • due to fibrosis of the lumen by intimal proliferation

The only remnants of the umbilical arteries are fibrous cords in the adult; these are the medial umbilical ligaments which extend in the extra-peritoneal fat of the abdominal wall from the umbilicus to the superior vesical arteries. The latter remain patent.