Author(s): Douard R, Chevallier JM, Delmas V, Cugnenc PH
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Abstract Arterial vascularization of the gastrointestinal tract is a three-level system composed of the coeliac trunk, and both superior and inferior mesenteric arteries. The three levels are joined together via arterial trunk anastomoses such as the so-called and well-known Riolan arcade or supramarginal arcade. The aim of this study was to review the embryology of the digestive arteries in order to understand the anatomic variations, the development of the arterial trunk anastomoses and the potential collateral circulation in the case of obstruction of one or several arterial trunks. The arch theory by Mac Kay and Tandler longitudinal arterial anastomosis account for the genesis of the arterial trunk anastomoses and the main anatomic variations. The coeliac trunk and the superior mesenteric artery are joined together via the pancreaticoduodenal arcades and the Bühler arcade. These anastomoses are divided during pancreatic resections but developed in the case of coeliac trunk stenosis. The mesenteric arteries are joined together by the Riolan, Villemin arcades and by the marginal artery of Drummond. This collateral circulation and the Riolan arcade in particular, is utilized during left colonic resection. In the case of this collateral circulation insufficiency, inferior mesenteric artery reimplantation is necessary during abdominal aortic aneurysmectomy. Arteriopathy, more and more frequent due to population ageing is responsible for frequent obliteration of one or several digestive arterial trunks with subsequent development of collateral circulation. For such reasons, a sound knowledge of digestive arterial anatomy is an absolute prerequisite for surgical practice.
This article was published in Surg Radiol Anat
and referenced in Journal of Colitis & Diverticulitis
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