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Middle colic artery: want to learn more about it?

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Middle colic artery

The middle colic artery is a branch of the superior mesenteric artery that supplies the proximal two-thirds of the transverse colon. It courses intraperitoneally through the root of the transverse mesocolon until it splits into right and left branches.

The branches of the middle colic artery anastomose with branches of the right and left colic artery and contribute to the formation of the marginal artery of Drummond, an arterial channel that supplies the large intestine.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the middle colic artery.

Key facts about the middle colic artery
Origin Superior mesenteric artery
Branches Right and left branch
Supply Transverse colon
Contents
  1. Course
  2. Branches and supply
+ Show all

Course

The middle colic artery is a branch of the superior mesenteric artery, arising from its anterolateral aspect. Occasionally, it can arise as a common trunk with the right colic artery.

At its origin point, it lies inferior to the uncinate process of the pancreas and anterior to the third part of the duodenum from which runs inferiorly. Shortly after, it turns anterosuperiorly to enter the transverse mesocolon where it divides into its right and left branches.

Branches and supply

During its course through the transverse mesocolon, the middle colic artery divides into a left and right branch. These branches anastomose with the branches of the right and left colic arteries and contribute to the formation of the marginal artery of Drummond.

  • Right branch: courses towards the hepatic flexure where it anastomoses with the superior branch of the right colic artery. The right branch of the middle colic artery supplies the upper portion of the ascending colon and the hepatic flexure of the colon.
  • Left branch: anastomoses with the ascending branch of the left colic artery (a branch of the inferior mesenteric artery) at the splenic flexure. The left branch of the middle colic artery supplies the proximal two-thirds of the transverse colon.

Middle colic 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

Show references

References:

  • Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Singh, V. (2011). Anatomy of abdomen and lower limb. London: Elsevier Health Sciences APAC.
  • Standring, S. (2016). Gray's Anatomy (41tst ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Sinnatamby, C. S., & Last, R. J. (2011). Last's anatomy: Regional and applied. (12th edition). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Illustrators:

  • Middle colic artery (arteria colica media) - Irina Münstermann
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