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Superior mesenteric artery: Wikis


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Artery: Superior mesenteric artery
The pancreas and duodenum from behind. (Superior mesenteric artery labeled at upper right.)
Superior mesenteric a.gif
Frontal view of the superior mesenteric artery and its branches. The large vessel (blue) beside the SMA is the superior mesenteric vein. A considerable number of different branching patterns exist.
Latin arteria mesenterica superior
Gray's subject #154 606
Supplies intestine
Source abdominal aorta   
Branches inferior pancreaticoduodenal
middle colic
right colic
intestinal branches (jejunal, ileal)
Vein superior mesenteric vein
Precursor vitelline arteries
MeSH Mesenteric+Artery,+Superior

See also: Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome

In human anatomy, the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) arises from the anterior surface of the abdominal aorta, just inferior to the origin of the celiac trunk, and supplies the intestine from the lower part of the duodenum through two-thirds of the transverse colon, as well as the pancreas.


Location and path

It arises anterior to vertebra L1 in an adult. It is usually 1cm lower than the celiac trunk. It initially travels in an anterior/inferior direction, passing behind/under the neck of the pancreas and the splenic vein. Located under this portion of the superior mesenteric artery, between it and the aorta, are the following:

The SMA typically runs to the left of the similarly named vein, the superior mesenteric vein. After passing the neck of the pancreas it starts giving off its branches.


Branch Supplies
inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery head of the pancreas and to the descending and inferior parts of the duodenum
middle colic artery to the transverse colon
right colic artery to ascending colon
intestinal arteries branches to ileum, branches to jejunum
ileocolic artery (terminal branch of the SMA) supplies last part of ileum, cecum, and appendix

The middle, right, and ileocecal branches anastomose with each other to form a marginal artery along the inner border of the colon. This artery is completed by branches of the left colic which is a branch of the inferior mesenteric artery.


Additional images


  1. ^ Redaelli CA, Schilling MK, Büchler MW (1998). "Intraoperative laser Doppler flowmetry: a predictor of ischemic injury in acute mesenteric infarction". Digestive surgery 15 (1): 55–9. doi:10.1159/000018587. ISSN 0253-4886. PMID 9845564. 

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