Author: Shahab Shahid MBBS•Reviewer: Jerome GoffinLast reviewed: September 23, 2021Reading time: 8 minutes

The gastrointestinal tract is consisted of of a variety of hollow organs that extend from the mouth all the method down come the rectum. The GI tract enables united state to process, digest and gain nutrients from the food we eat. Its various parts are committed to absorb certain nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin B12 which is absorbed in the terminal ileum.

You are watching: What does the superior mesenteric artery supply

The bowel, which component of the GI tract, develops in three different sections; namely the foregut, midgut and hindgut. Separate nerves, arteries, and also veins supply these miscellaneous sections.

This write-up will explain the superior mesenteric artery (which supplies the midgut), including its branches, and also clinical relevance.

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There are three major parts the make up the gastrointestinal tract. These space the foregut, midgut and hindgut. The foregut extends indigenous the mouth to the major duodenal papilla (where the ampulla the Vater empties right into the duodenum). The midgut extends from this suggest to the proximal 2 thirds that the way along the transverse colon. The hindgut runs from this point to the dentate heat of the anal canal. The blood supply to the rectum occurs from the superior, middle and also inferior rectal arteries.

The premium mesenteric artery occurs from the ab aorta at the level the the an initial lumbar vertebral body L1, roughly a centimeter below the coeliac trunk. It arises over the renal arteries (that arise at vertebral level L1-L2). The exceptional mesenteric artery gives the midgut, while the worse mesenteric artery provides the hindgut. Every of these arteries provide rise to further major branches that suppl

y areas of the cradle tract. The exceptional mesenteric arterys initial course is forwards and downwards, and also it travels posterior to the neck of the pancreas and the splenic vein. The superior mesenteric artery is usually uncovered running to the left next of the premium mesenteric vein (which drains the same region as the artery supplies).

Superior mesenteric artery (ventral view)

Similarly, the sympathetic inputs come the foregut, midgut and hindgut arise from the thoracic and lumbar splanchnic nerves, i.e. T5-T9, T9-T12 and L1-L2 respectively. The parasympathetic innervation to the foregut and also midgut is offered by the vagus nerve (cranial nerve 10) if the pelvic splanchnic nerves carry out parasympathetic innervation come the hindgut.



Inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery- This is the very first branch the the superior mesenteric artery, occurring from its best side, and also supplies the head of the pancreas as well as the inferior and ascending areas of the duodenum. This artery gives off two additional branches i.e. Anterior and posterior branches. Both branches run between the c shaped inner curvature that the duodenum, and also the head of the pancreas. Lock anastomose with the remarkable pancreaticoduodenal artery the is the terminal branch of the gastroduodenal artery.

Middle colic artery- This is the 2nd branch arising from the ideal side the the premium mesenteric artery and also supplies the proximal two thirds the the transverse colon. That branches off just listed below the pancreas, and travels upwards in ~ the mesentery of the transverse colon. That left and right branches anastomose with assorted arteries i.e. The left one anastomoses v the left colic artery (a branch of the inferior mesenteric artery), and also the right anastomoses v the right colic artery.

Right colic artery- This artery runs directly to the right, and also supplies the ascending colon. In bespeak to reach this part of the bowel, it overcome anteriorly to the gonadal vessels and also the psoas significant (as well as the ureter, i beg your pardon lies retroperitoneally, this vessels run within the better omentum, i m sorry is a quadruple class of peritoneum). It divides to form an ascending and descending branch. The previous anastomoses through the middle colic artery and the last anastomoses through the ileocolic artery.

Ileocolic artery- This artery gives the caecum, appendix and also ileum. In order to with the ascending colon, it overcome downward and to the right. The has further branches consisting of the anterior and posterior cecal arteries (which supply your respective components of the caecum), the ileal branch that the ileocolic, which provides the junction in between the ileum and also the caecum, and the appendicular artery which gives the appendix. The appendicular artery is an end artery, and also hence the attachment is breakable to ischaemic necrosis if this artery is blocked. The colic branch operation superiorly and supplies the ascending colon.

Jejunal and Ileal branches- this arteries branch off from the left next of the exceptional mesenteric artery to supply the jejunum and also ileum. They form arterial arcades (a network of arteries the lies close to the bowel and also supplies it). The arcades for the jejunum space longer and less associated (i.e. Fewer anastomoses). The arcades the the ileum are much shorter and are more connected (i.e. Much more anastomoses). This reflects the duty of the various parts of the bowel. The arterial arcades don"t supply straight the little intestine. They provide off the so-called straight arteries (arteriae recta) that are much longer than the arcades and they finally supply the tiny intestine.

Marginal artery of Drummond- The terminal branches of the premium mesenteric artery (middle colic, appropriate colic and also ileocolic arteries) and also inferior mesenteric artery (left colic and also sigmoid arteries) anastomose to type the marginal artery, that runs follow me the interior border of the colon. Teacher David Drummond defined the artery first. In operation terms, throughout bowel surgery once the significant arteries might be clamped turn off to minimize blood loss, the marginal artery is enough to perfuse the colon.


There is a fast little means to psychic all superior mesenteric artery branches to the big intestine. Just keep in mind "MRI", which stands for:

Middle colic a.Right colic a.Ileocolic a.

Clinical points

Nutcracker syndrome- This results from an elevated left renal vein pressure as result of the compression the the renal vein in between the remarkable mesenteric artery and the abdominal aorta. Symptoms incorporate blood in the urine, pain in the abdomen (usually in the flank). Varicoceles may likewise result, together the left gonadal vein drains into the left renal vein, and also hence i do not care backlogged, causing venous engorgement.

Mesenteric ischaemia- Chronic mesenteric ischaemia can an outcome from atherosclerosis the the mesenteric arteries. Acute mesenteric ischaemia typically results native an embolus the becomes lodged in any of the branches that the mesenteric arteries. Risk determinants include atrial fibrillation, chronic renal failure and heart failure. Treatment has surgical revascularization, however radiological interventions space being developed.

Superior mesenteric artery syndrome- This is a rare disease that occurs as soon as the duodenum is trapped between the abdominal muscle aorta and the premium mesenteric artery, resulting in compression or finish obstruction. The patience will present with bloating after meals, nausea and also vomiting and a emotion of abdominal fullness. Treatment consists of diet modification to law the underlying reason (which is frequently rapid weight loss, or previous abdominal surgery), and surgery.



Frank H.Netter MD: Atlas of human Anatomy, fifth Edition, Elsevier Saunders.Chummy S.Sinnatamby: Last’s Anatomy local and Applied, 12th Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.Richard L. Drake, A. Wayne Vogl, Adam. W.M. Mitchell: Gray’s Anatomy for Students, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.Atlas and also textbook of person Anatomy. J.P McMurrich, D.J.Sobotta.


Superior mesenteric artery (ventral view) - Irina Münstermann

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