Inferior mesenteric artery

Inferior mesenteric artery
Artery: Inferior mesenteric artery
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Sigmoid colon and rectum, showing distribution of branches of inferior mesenteric artery and their anastomoses. (Inferior mesenteric artery labeled at center.)
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Abdominal part of digestive tube and its attachment to the primitive or common mesentery. Human embryo of six weeks. (Inferior mesenteric artery labeled at bottom right.)
Latin arteria mesenterica inferior
Gray's subject #154 609
Source abdominal aorta   
Branches left colic artery, sigmoid branches, superior rectal artery
Vein inferior mesenteric vein
Precursor vitelline arteries
MeSH Mesenteric+Artery,+Inferior

In human anatomy, the inferior mesenteric artery, often abbreviated as IMA, supplies the large intestine from the left colic (or splenic) flexure to the upper part of the rectum, which includes the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and part of the rectum. Proximally, its territory of distribution overlaps (forms a watershed) with the middle colic artery, and therefore the superior mesenteric artery. The SMA and IMA anastomose via the marginal artery of the colon (artery of Drummond). The territory of distribution of the IMA is more or less equivalent to the embryonic hindgut.

Contents

Branching

The IMA branches off the anterior surface of the abdominal aorta below the renal artery branch points, and approximately midway between these and the aortic bifurcation (into the common iliac arteries), L3 vertebral level.

The IMA has the following branches:

Branch notes
left colic artery supplies descending colon
sigmoid branches the most superior being described as 'the superior sigmoid artery'
superior rectal artery effectively the terminal branch of the IMA (the continuation of the IMA after all other branches)

All these arterial branches further divide into arcades which then supply the colon at regular intervals.

Associated veins

The IMA is accompanied along its course by a similarly named vein, the inferior mesenteric vein, which drains into the splenic vein.

The IMV therefore drains to the portal vein and does not fully mirror the course of the IMA.

Surgery and pathology

The IMA and/or its branches must be resected for a left hemicolectomy.

A horseshoe kidney, a common (1 in 600) anomaly of the kidneys, will be positioned below the IMA.

Additional images

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • inferior mesenteric artery — n MESENTERIC ARTERY (a) …   Medical dictionary

  • inferior mesenteric artery — noun arises near the lower end of the aorta and supplies the large intestine • Hypernyms: ↑mesenteric artery, ↑arteria mesenterica …   Useful english dictionary

  • Inferior mesenteric — can refer to: * Inferior mesenteric artery * Inferior mesenteric vein * Inferior mesenteric lymph nodes * Inferior mesenteric plexus …   Wikipedia

  • mesenteric artery — n either of two arteries arising from the aorta and passing between the two layers of the mesentery to the intestine: a) one that arises just above the bifurcation of the abdominal aorta into the common iliac arteries and supplies the left half… …   Medical dictionary

  • Inferior mesenteric vein — Infobox Vein Name = PAGENAME Latin = vena mesenterica inferior GraySubject = 174 GrayPage = 681 Caption = The portal vein and its tributaries. The superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein, into which the inferior mesenteric vein empties. Leinal… …   Wikipedia

  • Inferior mesenteric plexus — Infobox Nerve Name = Inferior mesenteric plexus Latin = plexus mesentericus inferior GraySubject = 220 GrayPage = 987 Caption = Lower half of right sympathetic cord. (Inferior mesenteric plexus labeled at center right.) Caption2 = The celiac… …   Wikipedia

  • mesenteric artery — noun one of two branches of the aorta that pass between the two layers of the mesentery to the intestines • Syn: ↑arteria mesenterica • Hypernyms: ↑artery, ↑arteria, ↑arterial blood vessel • Hyponyms: ↑inferior mesenteric artery, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Inferior mesenteric ganglion — Infobox Nerve Name = PAGENAME Latin = ganglion mesentericum inferius GraySubject = GrayPage = Caption = The celiac ganglia with the sympathetic plexuses of the abdominal viscera radiating from the ganglia. Caption2 = Abdominal portion of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Superior mesenteric artery — Artery: Superior mesenteric artery Frontal view of the superior mesenteric artery and its branches. The large vessel (blue) beside the SMA is the superior mesenteric vein. A considerable number of different branching patterns exist …   Wikipedia

  • Inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery — Infobox Artery Name = PAGENAME Latin = arteriae pancreaticoduodenales inferiores GraySubject = 154 GrayPage = 607 Caption = The celiac artery and its branches; the stomach has been raised and the peritoneum removed. (Inf. pan. duo. a. visible at… …   Wikipedia

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