The arterial and venous system of the gastric system is complex and there are many interconnecting branches. The different branches provide a rich blood supply to the digestive organs and help in the digestive process. It also protects the digestive system from infarction or lack of blood supply. It is important to receive proper knowledge of mesenteric vasculature including normal, variant, and collateral anatomy for proper evaluation and management of diseases that may affect the blood supply to the gastric system.
Mesenteric arteries carry blood from the aorta and supply it to a large part of the gastrointestinal system. Two arteries arise from the aorta. The superior mesenteric artery and the inferior mesenteric artery divide into many branches before reaching the gut. The branches of these arteries join the marginal artery of the colon which means that obstruction of the main arteries will not cause the death of the part to which it supplies blood.
Superior Mesenteric Vasculature
The superior mesenteric artery is one of the main arteries supplying the gastric system. It branches into many channels. It supplies the whole length of the small bowel except the upper part of the duodenum, cecum, transverse part of the colon, the left colon, and the ascending part of the colon. This starts from the celiac artery and passes down across the uncinate process of the pancreas.
The main branches of the superior mesenteric artery include the posterior and anterior artery, the jejunal and ileal arteries, pancreaticoduodenal arteries, and the middle colic artery where it divides further into left and right branches. The right branch anastomoses with the ascending branch of the right colic artery and the left branch anastomose with the ascending branch of the left colic artery. Many jejunal and ileal branches arise from the main SMA. Many interconnecting arterial arcades between the branches terminate in the vasa recta that supply the wall of the small bowel. The SMA terminates as the ileocolic artery that branches into the appendix, terminal ileum, and proximal ascending colon.
Inferior Mesenteric Vasculature
The inferior mesenteric artery arises from the left side of the abdominal aorta. It supplies the colon from the mid transverse part of the rectum. The ascending branch of this artery anastomoses with the left branch of the middle colic artery. The IMA also gives out branches that supply descending and sigmoid colon. The IMA terminates as the superior rectal artery that is divided into right and left branches to supply the upper rectum.
Disorders of the superior mesenteric artery
Different conditions can affect the superior mesenteric artery. Different disorders of the superior mesenteric artery include the following:
It is a condition when there is blockage of the superior mesenteric artery.
The blockage slows down the flow of blood to the intestines. The blockage may occur due to fat deposits and cholesterol or a blood clot.
In this condition, there is an enlargement of the mesenteric artery which results in the weakening of the wall of the blood vessel and can rupture.
In this syndrome, the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta compresses the left renal vein which carries filtered blood out of the kidneys. There may be some pain in the groin, blood in the urine, or congestion in the pelvic region due to compression of the vein.
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome
It does not occur commonly. It is a condition when the superior mesenteric artery and aorta compress the duodenum. The food remains in the stomach and a person experiences pain when eating due to compression of the duodenum.
Tips to prevent disorders of the superior mesenteric artery
A few tips are given here by the expert team of doctors at the CARE Hospitals to protect and prevent the disorders of the superior mesenteric artery.
Regular exercise helps to keep the optimum circulation of blood in your body
Diet should be nutritious and low in cholesterol, fats, and salt.
Try to lose weight if you are overweight and try to maintain a healthy weight
If you suffer from other medical problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar, try to manage them and keep them under control.
CARE Hospitals provides support related to the disorders of the digestive system as the hospital has a team of experienced doctors.
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