Superior mesenteric artery
|Artery: Superior mesenteric artery
| The pancreas and duodenum from behind. (Superior mesenteric artery labeled at upper right.)
| 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.
|| arteria mesenterica superior
|| subject #154 606
|| abdominal aorta
|| inferior pancreaticoduodenal|
intestinal branches (jejunal, ileal)
|| superior mesenteric vein
|| vitelline arteries
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 to the left colic flexure and the pancreas.
Additional recommended knowledge
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.
- Compared to other vessels of similar size, the SMA is largely spared the effects of atherosclerosis. This is likely due to protective haemodynamic conditions
- Occlusion of the SMA almost invariably leads to intestinal ischemia and often has devastating consequences; up to 80% of SMA occlusions lead to death.
- The SMA can compress the left renal vein, leading to the nutcracker syndrome and/or the third (horizontal) part of the duodenum, leading to SMA syndrome.
- ^ Redaelli CA, Schilling MK, Buchler MW. Intraoperative laser Doppler flowmetry: a predictor of ischemic injury in acute mesenteric infarction. Dig Surg. 1998;15(1):55-9. PMID 9845564. Full Text.
|List of arteries of torso - abdomen|
inferior pancreaticoduodenal –
intestinal (jejunal, ileal, arcades, vasa recta) –
ileocolic (colic, anterior cecal, posterior cecal, ileal branch, appendicular) –
right colic –
left colic –
superior rectal –
visceral: middle suprarenal –
(inferior suprarenal, ureteral) –
gonadal (testicular ♂/ovarian ♀)
parietal: inferior phrenic
(superior suprarenal) –
terminal: common iliac (IIA, EIA)
to ductus deferens) –
middle rectal –
obturator (anterior branch, posterior branch) - inferior gluteal (accompanying of ischiadic nerve, crucial anastomosis)
uterine ♀ (helicine, vaginal of uterine, ovarian of uterine, tubal of uterine) - vaginal ♀/inferior vesical ♂
internal pudendal: inferior rectal - perineal (urethral) - posterior scrotal ♂/labial ♀ - bulb of penis ♂/vestibule ♀ - deep artery of the penis ♂ (helicine)/clitoris ♀ - dorsal of the penis ♂/clitoris ♀
iliolumbar (lumbar, iliac) –
lateral sacral –
(cremasteric, round ligament) –
deep circumflex iliac – femoral