EN | DE | PT Get help How to study Login Register

Common hepatic artery: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Common hepatic artery

Common hepatic artery (arteria hepatica communis)

The common hepatic artery is a short artery that arises from the celiac trunk. It is the largest branch of the celiac trunk and the only one that courses to the right across the epigastric region of the abdomen. The common hepatic artery supplies blood to the liver, pylorus of the stomach, duodenum, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Along its course, the common hepatic artery gives off two branches; the gastroduodenal and right gastric artery. After giving rise to the gastroduodenal artery, it transforms into the proper hepatic artery that goes on to enter the liver.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the common hepatic artery.

Key facts about the common hepatic artery
Origin Celiac trunk
Branches Right gastric artery, gastroduodenal artery, proper hepatic artery
Supply Liver, pylorus of the stomach, duodenum, pancreas, gallbladder

Origin and course

The common hepatic artery is one of the three branches of the celiac trunk, along with the left gastric and splenic arteries. It arises approximately at the level of the lower border of T12 vertebra, and courses inferiorly, anteriorly and to the right.

As it reaches the upper surface of the proximal part of the duodenum, it turns upwards and enters the right free margin of the lesser omentum, coursing towards the porta hepatis where it divides into its terminal branches. After giving off the gastroduodenal artery, the common hepatic artery is continued by the proper hepatic artery.

Branches and supply

Along its course, the common hepatic artery gives off two branches; the right gastric and gastroduodenal artery; before transforming into the proper hepatic artery.

  • Gastroduodenal artery: arises from the common hepatic artery near the upper border of the superior part of the duodenum. It courses inferiorly behind the duodenum and divides into its terminal branches; the right gastroepiploic and superior pancreaticoduodenal arteries. These branches mainly supply the pylorus of the stomach, the superior duodenum, and the head of the pancreas.
  • Right gastric artery: arises distally to the gastroduodenal artery, either from the common hepatic artery, or from the proper hepatic artery. After its origin, the right gastric artery turns to the left and runs superiorly along the right side of the lesser curvature of the stomach and anastomoses with the left gastric artery. It gives off several branches at a right angle that supply the lesser curvature of the stomach.
  • Proper hepatic artery: a continuation of the common hepatic artery that runs towards the porta hepatis. There, it gives rise to the left and right hepatic arteries that go on to supply the liver and gallbladder.

Anatomical variations

The common hepatic artery follows the typical origin and branching only in 50-60% of cases, meaning it is often subjected to anatomic variations.

  • The common hepatic artery may occasionally arise from the abdominal aorta or superior mesenteric artery.
  • A relatively often finding is the trifurcation of the common hepatic artery into the right hepatic artery, left hepatic artery and gastroduodenal artery with the absence of the proper hepatic artery.
  • The right gastric artery more often than not arises from the hepatic artery proper instead of the common hepatic artery.

Common hepatic artery: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!