Visceral and Retroperitoneal Vessels

  • Wilhelm Schäberle


The abdominal aorta begins at the level of the diaphragm, crossing it via the aortic hiatus at the T12 vertebral level, and descends in front of or slightly to the left of the vertebral column. The diameter of the aorta decreases on its downward course from 25 to 20 mm. A diameter of up to 30 mm as a result of age-related dilatation is considered normal. An abrupt increase in diameter to more than 1.5 times that of the normal proximal segment is regarded as evidence of an aneurysm. The abdominal aorta divides into the two common iliac arteries at the L4/L5 level. The three major sources of intestinal blood supply are the celiac trunk, the superior mesenteric artery, and the inferior mesenteric artery. These visceral branches arise from the anterior aspect of the aorta. Their pattern of supply is complex and has numerous variants. The lumbar arteries originate from the lateral aspect, and the two renal arteries course in a retroperitoneal direction. The arteries arising from the aorta, from superior to inferior, are described in detail below (◘ Fig. 6.1).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Schäberle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Visceral, Vascular, Thoracic, and Pediatric SurgeryAlb Fils KlinikenGöppingenGermany

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