, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 239-244
Date: 14 Feb 2004

Anatomic variations of the hepatic arteries in 604 selective celiac and superior mesenteric angiographies

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In modern surgical and transplantation procedures the recognition of anatomic vascular abnormalities of the hepatic arteries is of greater importance than ever. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and classify these variations with respect to their impact on visceral surgery. A total of 604 selective celiac and superior mesenteric angiographies performed on patients with known or suspected liver cirrhosis or hepatic or pancreatic malignancies and on donors of partial liver grafts were analyzed retrospectively. The vascular anatomy of the liver was classified according to different established systems and with particular attention to rare variations. Hepatic arterial anatomy as considered normal in textbook descriptions was found in 79.1%, an aberrant or accessory left hepatic artery (LHA) arising from the left gastric artery in 3.0% and an aberrant or accessory right hepatic artery (RHA) branching off the superior mesenteric artery in 11.9% of the cases. In 1.4% of the cases there was a combination of anomalies of both the LHA and RHA. Variants of the celiac trunk, double hepatic arteries branching at the celiac trunk or hepatic arteries arising directly from the aorta, occurred in 4.1% of the cases. Further atypical branches of the LHA and RHA were found in 0.5% of the cases. Since the incidence and pattern of different types of hepatic arterial anatomy can require specialized preoperative diagnostic as well as intraoperative strategies, knowledge of these abnormalities and their frequency is of major importance for the surgeon as well as the radiologist.