Superficial inguinal ring

Superficial inguinal ring
Superficial inguinal ring
Front of abdomen, showing surface markings for arteries and inguinal canal. (Subcutaneous inguinal ring labeled at lower left.)
The subcutaneous inguinal ring.
Latin annulus inguinalis superficialis
Gray's subject #286 1315

The superficial inguinal ring is an anatomical structure in the anterior wall of the human abdomen. It is a triangular opening that forms the exit of the inguinal canal, which houses the ilioinguinal nerve, the genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, and the spermatic cord (in men) or the round ligament (in women). At the other end of the canal, the deep inguinal ring forms the entrance.[1] It is also called the subcutaneous inguinal ring or external inguinal ring.

It is found within the aponeurosis of the external oblique, immediately above the crest of the pubis, 1 centimeter above and lateral to the pubic tubercle. It has medial and lateral crura. It is at the layer of the aponeurosis of the obliquus externus abdominis.[2]

Clinical significance

The superficial ring is palpable[3] under normal conditions. It becomes dilated in a condition called athletic pubalgia. Abdominal contents may protrude through the ring in inguinal hernia.


  1. ^ James Harmon M.D. Lecture 13. Human Gross Anatomy. University of Minnesota. September 4, 2008.
  2. ^ Kyung Won, PhD. Chung (2005). Gross Anatomy (Board Review). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 198. ISBN 0-7817-5309-0. 
  3. ^ Moore & Agur, Essential Clinical Anatomy (2007)

External links

Diagram of an indirect, scrotal inguinal hernia ( median view from the left). The external inguinal ring is labeled.

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.