Superior mesenteric artery

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Superior mesenteric artery
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.
3D rendered CT of abdominal aortic branches and kidneys.svg
3D-rendered computed tomography of abdominal aortic branches, showing exit of superior mesenteric artery between the kidneys.
Precursorvitelline arteries
Sourceabdominal aorta
Branchesinferior pancreaticoduodenal
middle colic
right colic
intestinal branches (jejunal, ileal)
Veinsuperior mesenteric vein
Latinarteria mesenterica superior
Anatomical terminology

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


It arises anterior to lower border of vertebra L1 in an adult. It is usually 1 cm 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.

SMA branches[edit]

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

The number of arterial arcades in the ileum is more than the number of arcades in the jejunum. [1]

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.

Clinical relevance[edit]

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ Conley, Dylan; Hurst, Peter R.; Stringer, Mark D. (March 2010). "An investigation of human jejunal and ileal arteries". Anatomical Science International. 85 (1): 23–30. doi:10.1007/s12565-009-0047-9. ISSN 1447-6959. PMID 19488686. S2CID 7926213.
  2. ^ 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. S2CID 46785333.

External links[edit]