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Image : “A 3D illustration of the abdominal aorta at the iliac junction” by Gegu0284. License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Embryology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is obtained embryologically from the primitive gut which is developed from the endoderm lining the yolk sac. The primitive gut is separated right into the foregut, midgut, and hindgut.

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The foregut provides climb to the esophagus, stomach, and also the initially and also second parts of the duodenum, too as the liver, gallbladder, and also superior part of the pancreas. All the organs acquired from the foregut are provided by the branches of the celiac trunk (artery).

The midgut gives rise to the distal duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, appendix, ascfinishing colon, and the proximal two-thirds of the transverse colon. These are provided by the branches of the premium mesenteric artery (SMA).

The hindgut provides climb to the distal one-third of the transverse colon, descending colon, rectum, and top component of the anal canal. These frameworks are supplied by the branches of the inferior mesenteric artery (IMA).

These 3 unpaired arteries (celiac trunk, SMA, and IMA) are branches of the abdominal aorta.


Image: Blood supply to the GI tract. Schematic. By

Abdominal muscle Aorta


Image: Aorta and its branches in the anterior watch. By Edoaraexecute – Own job-related based on: Arterial System en.svg, Coronary arteries.svg. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

The abdominal aorta begins as a continuation of the thoracic aorta at the aortic hiatus of the diaphragm at the level of the T12 vertebra. It ends by bifurcating into the common iliac arteries at the level of the L4 vertebra.

The GIT is offered by the 3 anterior branches of the abdominal aorta. From superior to inferior, these encompass the celiac trunkSMA, and also IMA. These 3 branches are unpaired and also their terminal branches anastomose to carry out the collateral supply.

Celiac Trunk


Image: The celiac artery and also its branches; the stomach has actually been increased and also the peritoneum rerelocated. By Henry Vandyke Carter, Henry Gray (1918) “Anatomy of the Human being Body”. Gray’s Anatomy, Plate 533. License: Public Domain

The celiac trunk originates from the abdominal aorta and also lies in the transpyloric plane at the level of the body of the T12 vertebra.

The celiac artery has three branches which are the left gastric artery, splenic artery, and prevalent hepatic artery.

The left gastric artery runs along and offers the lesser curvature of the stomach.

The splenic artery provides the spleen and pancreas. It has actually multiple branches consisting of the left gastroepiploic artery that runs along the higher curvature of the stomach.

The common hepatic artery divides right into the hepatic artery (supplying the hepatobiliary system), appropriate gastric artery (which runs along the lesser curvature of the stomach), and also the gastroduodenal artery.

The celiac trunk and also its branches supply all the foregut derivatives which include the abdominal component of the esophagus, stomach, initially and second parts of the duodenum, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and exceptional component of the pancreas.

The celiac ganglia are existing on each side of the celiac artery and also sfinish sympathetic nerves that travel in addition to the celiac artery and also its branches.

Branches of the celiac artery… and also their branches
1. Left gastric arteryBranches to the stomach and also esophagus
2. Common hepatic arteryRight gastric artery, gastroduodenal artery, appropriate hepatic artery
3. Splenic arteryShort gastric artery, left gastro-opsychological artery, dorsal pancreatic artery, and also greater pancreatic artery

Superior Mesenteric Artery

This midgut artery originates from the abdominal aorta at the level of the L1 vertebra listed below the celiac trunk. It then runs antero-inferiorly behind the splenic vein and the neck of the pancreas. During this component of its journey, it is separated from the aorta by the complying with structures:

Third component of the duodenum and part of the small intestines, which may be compressed in between the SMA and abdominal aorta, resulting in the SMA syndrome.Pancreatic uncinate process, which hooks about the SMA.Left renal vein, which have the right to be compressed in between the SMA and the abdominal aorta, leading to the nutcracker syndrome.

The SMA branches right into the intestinal arteries, inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, ileocolic artery, and right and also middle colic arteries. These supply the organs of the midgut – the third part of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, appendix, ascfinishing colon, and proximal two-thirds of the transverse colon.

Inferior Mesenteric Artery


Image: Colonic blood supply. 1 – transverse colon, 2 – ascfinishing colon, 3 – cecum, 4 – ideal colic artery, 5 – appendix, 6 – middle colic artery, 7 – Cannon-Böhm suggest (the border between the areas of SMA and IMA supplies), 8 – premium mesenteric artery, 9 – marginal artery, 10 – ileocolic artery, 11 – jejunum (partial), 12 – ileum (partial). The proximal tiny intestine, abdominal organs (pancreas, liver, etc), sigmoid and rectum, aorta, and inferior mesenteric artery are not presented. Pink – supply from the superior mesenteric artery and its branches: middle colic, ideal colic, ileocolic arteries. Blue – supply from the inferior mesenteric artery and its branches: left colic, sigmoid, remarkable rectal artery. By Filip em, License: CC BY 3.0

This hindgut artery arises from the abdominal aorta at the level of the L3 vertebra, inferior to SMA. It is the smallest branch among the 3 anterior branches of the abdominal aorta.

It descends anterior to the abdominal aorta and also then crosses to the left as it proceeds to descfinish. It provides off the following branches: left colic artery, sigmoid arteries, and also premium rectal artery which is a terminal branch. These supply oxygenated blood to the distal one-3rd of the transverse colon, descending colon, rectum, and exceptional part of the anal canal.

Branches of the SMA and IMA anastomose to create the marginal arteries of Drummond and also Riolan’s arcade (anastomoses between the left colic and medial colic artery). They administer plentiful oxygenated blood to the colon, except for specific watershed areas via bad blood supply like the splenic flexure of the colon.

The marginal artery runs distal, while Riolan’s arcade (likewise recognized as the meandering mesenteric artery) runs proximal to the root of the mesentery. The terminal branches of the right colic, middle colic, left colic, and sigmoid branches enter the colonic wall and also are referred to as the vasa recta.

Clinical Relevance of the Abdominal muscle Arteries

Celiac artery compression syndrome

Celiac artery compression syndrome, likewise called the celiac axis syndrome, median arcuate ligament syndrome, or Dunbar syndrome, is a problem defined by chronic recurrent abdominal pain that is associated through meals, weight loss, and also abdominal bruit. It is a result of the external compression of the celiac artery by the median arcuate ligament.

The diagnosis deserve to be evidenced with imaging modalities such as ultrasound, CT angiography, or MR angiography. Treatment is the surgical excision of the constricting median arcuate ligament to decompress the celiac artery.

Superior mesenteric artery syndrome

This rare syndrome is brought about by the compression of the distal third of the duodenum between SMA and also the abdominal aorta. It must be differentiated from celiac artery compression syndrome and also the nutcracker syndrome.

It is identified by a severe, stabbing, post-meal, abdominal pain, early satiety, nausea, and also vomiting. Early diagnosis is tough yet important as delay can lead to major dehydration, malnutrition, and electrolyte abnormalities. Treatment consists of clinical monitoring and also, in serious instances, surgical bypass.

Nutcracker syndrome


Image: Compression of the left renal vein (noted by the arrow) in between the remarkable mesenteric artery and the aorta leading to the nutcracker syndrome. By James Heilman, MD – Own job-related. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

This syndrome is defined by hematuria and left flank pain as a result of the compression of the left renal vein in between the abdominal aorta and also SMA.

In the sagittal or transverse airplane, the abdominal aorta and also SMA show up prefer a nutcracker through a nut (the left renal vein) in its jaws. The diagnosis of the syndrome is generally confirmed with left renal venography. Treatment is composed of endovascular stenting or renal vein re-implantation depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Superior mesenteric artery thrombosis

The SMA is hardly ever influenced by atherosclerosis. However before, in rare cases, especially following atrial fibrillation or myocardial infarction, the artery may gain occluded by a thrombus leading to ischemic colitis.

SMA thrombosis is identified by an acute onset of abdominal pain and blood in the sdevices. In most situations, tbelow is a background of current myocardial infarction or atrial fibrillation. A waterburned location prefer the splenic flexure is generally influenced. Diagnosis is shown through mesenteric angiography, and also definitive treatment is composed of emergency laparotomy with bowel rearea and anastomoses.

Chronic ischemic colitis

When blood flow to parts of the colon is chronically diminished because of arterial blockage or thrombus, the colon may end up being inflamed and also eventually gangrenous. In such instances, the marginal artery and also the arc of Riolan might be significantly enlarged in an effort to perfuse the ischemic colonic segment.

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Left hemicolectomy

This surgical procedure entails the removal of the left side of the huge bowel, which is typically necessary in the situation of tumors. The IMA and its branches have to be resected throughout this surgical procedure as the IMA offers the left colon.