Superior mesenteric artery (SMA)  
  • Found in the root of the mesentery near the midline, just below coeliac trunk.

  • Most of its branches arise from its left side.

  • The branches to the small intestines are called jejunal and ileal branches respectively.

  • There are anastomotic arcades between adjacent branches

  • These form secondary, tertiary and in the more distal parts even quaternary arcades.

  • Vasa recta which arise from the peripheral row of arcades and pass alternatively to either side of the bowel.

  • The SMA anastomoses with its ileocoloc branch on its right.

  • The ileocolic artery runs towards the ileocolic angle and divides into ascending and descending branches.

  • It gives the appendidular artery, to the appendix.

Other branches of the SMA  

Right colic artery

  • Runs horizontally to the right
  • Divides ascending and descending branches

Middle colic artery

  • Arises from the right side of the superior mesenteric

  • It gives off the most proximal branch, the inferior pancreatic coduodenal artery .

  • Enters the root of the transverse mesocolon.

  • Descends in the mesocolon to the upper border of the transverse colon, where it divides into right and left branches.


Note that the superior mesenteric artery is the artery of the midgut. The midgut extends from the greater duodenal papilla (where the bile duct enters) to the transverse colon near the left colic flexure.

Blood supply to GIT
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