Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 906–911 | Cite as

Right colonic arterial anatomy

Implications for laparoscopic surgery
  • Antonio García-Ruiz
  • Jeffrey W. Milsom
  • Kirk A. Ludwig
  • Pierenrico Marchesa
Original Contributions


PURPOSE: Hemorrhagic complications can be a major cause of conversion and/or morbidity during laparoscopic intestinal surgery. The limited exposure currently provided in laparoscopic intestinal resection demands a precise knowledge of mesenteric vascular anatomy to avoid such complications and to expedite the procedure. Most surgical texts depict a “normal pattern” of arterial supply to the right colon consisting of three arterial branches (ileocolic artery, right colic artery, and middle colic artery) arising independently from the superior mesenteric artery (SMA). Based on previous reports and clinical observations, we hypothesized that the right colic artery arises infrequently from the SMA, and most commonly, there are only two colonic arteries arising independently from the SMA. METHODS: We performed detailed dissections of the SMA in 56 human cadavers. RESULTS: We found the ileocolic artery in all of our cases and the middle colic artery in 55 of 56 cadavers but only six cases of a right colic artery emanating directly from SMA. CONCLUSIONS: Our data, combined with review of published anatomic studies, lead us to conclude that in the vast majority of cases there are only two independent branches arising from SMA that supply the large intestine, the ileocolic and the middle colic arteries. The right colic artery directly arising from SMA is unusual (10.7 percent). This knowledge may help lower the risk of vascular complications during laparoscopic intestinal surgery.

Key words

Anatomy Colectomy Dissection Intraoperative complications Laparoscopy Surgery, Laparoscopic 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio García-Ruiz
    • 1
  • Jeffrey W. Milsom
    • 1
  • Kirk A. Ludwig
    • 1
  • Pierenrico Marchesa
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorectal Surgery Research Unit, Colorectal Surgery DepartmentThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationCleveland

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