Anatomy of the Abdomen – Category 1 – Arterial structure: Visceral branches: SMA/IMA




(SMA – Ryan p.168, 172f, 173; IMA Ryan p.173f, 174f, 174)

Arterial supply of the small intestine

  • The entire small intestine is supplied by the superior mesenteric artery, which arises from the aorta at the L1 vertebral level.
  • Jejunal and ilea branches arise from the left of the main trunk.
  • These branches link with one another in a series of arcades, which are usually single in the jejunum but number up to 5 in the distal ileum.
  • The arteries that enter the intestinal wall – the vasa recta – are end arteries.

The arterial supply of the colon

  • The part of the colon derived from the midgut (i.e. caecum to the midtransverse colon) is supplied by the superior mesenteric artery as follows:
    • The ileocolic artery (the lowest right-sided branch of the main trunk of the superior mesenteric artery) supplies the caecum, appendix and the beginning of the…

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