Superior mesenteric artery

Superior mesenteric artery
Artery: Superior mesenteric artery
Superior mesenteric a.gif
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.
3D rendered CT of abdominal aortic branches and kidneys.png
3D-rendered computed tomography of abdominal aortic branches, showing exit of superior mesenteric artery between the kidneys.
Latin arteria mesenterica superior
Gray's subject #154 606
Supplies intestine
Source abdominal aorta   
Branches inferior pancreaticoduodenal
middle colic
right colic
intestinal branches (jejunal, ileal)
Vein superior mesenteric vein
Precursor vitelline arteries
MeSH Mesenteric+Artery,+Superior

In human anatomy, the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) arises from the anterior surface of the abdominal aorta, just inferior to the origin of the celiac trunk, and supplies the intestine from the lower part of the duodenum through two-thirds of the transverse colon, as well as the pancreas.


Location and path

It arises anterior to vertebra L1 in an adult. It is usually 1cm lower than the celiac trunk. It initially travels in an anterior/inferior direction, passing behind/under the neck of the pancreas and the splenic vein. Located under this portion of the superior mesenteric artery, between it and the aorta, are the following:

The SMA typically runs to the left of the similarly named vein, the superior mesenteric vein. After passing the neck of the pancreas it starts giving off its branches.


Branch Supplies
inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery head of the pancreas and to the ascending and inferior parts of the duodenum
middle colic artery to the transverse colon
right colic artery to ascending colon
intestinal arteries branches to ileum, branches to jejunum
ileocolic artery (terminal branch of the SMA) supplies last part of ileum, cecum, and appendix

The middle, right, and ileocecal branches anastomose with each other to form a marginal artery along the inner border of the colon. This artery is completed by branches of the left colic which is a branch of the inferior mesenteric artery.


Additional images


  1. ^ Redaelli CA, Schilling MK, Büchler MW (1998). "Intraoperative laser Doppler flowmetry: a predictor of ischemic injury in acute mesenteric infarction". Digestive surgery 15 (1): 55–9. doi:10.1159/000018587. ISSN 0253-4886. PMID 9845564. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • superior mesenteric artery — n MESENTERIC ARTERY (b) …   Medical dictionary

  • Superior mesenteric artery syndrome — Infobox Disease Name = SMA Syndrome Caption = Abdominal and pelvic CT scan showing duodenal compression (black arrow) by the abdominal aorta and the superior mesenteric artery. Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome is a rare, life threatening …   Wikipedia

  • superior mesenteric artery syndrome — compression of the third, or transverse, portion of the duodenum against the aorta by the superior mesenteric artery, resulting in complete or partial obstruction that may be chronic, intermittent, or acute; symptoms range from mild to severe,… …   Medical dictionary

  • superior mesenteric artery — noun originates from the upper part of the aorta that supplies the small intestines and the cecum and the colon • Hypernyms: ↑mesenteric artery, ↑arteria mesenterica …   Useful english dictionary

  • Superior pancreaticoduodenal artery — Infobox Artery Name = PAGENAME Latin = arteria pancreaticoduodenalis superior GraySubject = 154 GrayPage = 605 Caption = The celiac artery and its branches; the stomach has been reflected superiorly and the peritoneum removed. (Superior… …   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

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

  • Superior mesenteric vein — Infobox Vein Name = PAGENAME Latin = vena mesenterica superior GraySubject = 174 GrayPage = 682 Caption = The portal vein and its tributaries. The superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein. Leinal vein is an old term for splenic vein . Anatomical …   Wikipedia

  • Superior mesenteric plexus — Infobox Nerve Name = PAGENAME Latin = plexus mesentericus superior GraySubject = 220 GrayPage = 987 Caption = The celiac ganglia with the sympathetic plexuses of the abdominal viscera radiating from the ganglia. Caption2 = Innervates = BranchFrom …   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

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