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Gastroepiploic arteries

Recommended video: Arteries of the stomach, liver and spleen [14:13]
Arteries which supply the stomach, liver and spleen.
The gastroomental/epiploic arteries (arteriae gastroomentales/epiploicae)

The gastroepiploic arteries, more appropriately known as the gastroomental arteries [TA] consist of left and right vessels that form an anastomosis along the greater curvature of the stomach.

The right gastroomental artery arises as one of the terminal branches of the gastroduodenal artery, while the left gastroepiploic artery arises from the splenic artery.

The gastroomental arteries give off gastric and omental (a.k.a. epiploic) branches that supply the greater curvature of the stomach and the greater omentum.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the gastroomental arteries.

Key facts about the gastroomental arteries
Origin Right gastroomental artery: gastroduodenal artery
Left gastroomental artery: splenic artery
Branches Gastric and omental (epiploic) branches
Supply Greater curvature of stomach
  1. Right gastroomental artery
  2. Left gastroomental artery
  3. Branches and supply
  4. Sources
+ Show all

Right gastroomental artery

The right gastroomental artery is one of the two terminal branches of the gastroduodenal artery (the other being the anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal artery). It arises between the superior part of the duodenum and the pancreas.

It courses downwards towards the midline, running inferiorly to the pylorus of the stomach. As it reaches the level of the head of the pancreas, it turns laterally to enter the greater omentum. Between the layers of the greater omentum, it then passes along the greater curvature of the stomach where it may anastomose with the left gastroepiploic artery.

Left gastroomental artery

The left gastroomental artery arises from the splenic artery approximately 1-4cm before the hilum of the spleen. From here, it courses anteroinferiorly through the gastrosplenic ligament of the greater omentum. It then passes along the greater curvature of the stomach, lying in between the anterior and posterior layers of the greater omentum.

In about one half of the population, the left gastroomental artery terminates as an anastomosis with its right counterpart, thereby completing the gastroomental arcade. When this does not occur, the gastroomental arteries terminate before meeting and do not form a defined anastomosis.

Branches and supply

During their course along the greater curvature of the stomach, both the right and left gastroomental artery give off several gastric and omental (epiploic) branches:

  • Gastric branches: usually consist of several arteries that branch perpendicular to the parent vessel and ascend within the serosa/visceral peritoneal covering of the stomach. The gastric branches arising from the left gastroepiploic artery supply the fundus and the upper portion of the gastric body while the gastric branches from the right gastroomental artery supply the pyloric antrum and the lower half of the gastric body.
  • Omental branches: also known as epiploic branches, these arteries course inferiorly through the layers of the greater omentum, providing it with arterial supply.

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