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.
|Origin||Superior mesenteric artery|
|Branches||Right and left branch|
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.