Blood Vessels of the Abdomen and Pelvis

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The pancreas | Main Anatomy Index | Innervation & lymphatics of abdomen and pelvis

Last updated 30 March 2006

Blood Vessels of the Abdomen and Pelvis

Arterial Supply of the Abdomen

The Abdominal Aorta


Relations of the Abdominal Aorta

  1. The coeliac trunk and its branches;
  2. The coeliac plexus;
  3. The omental bursa;
  4. The pancreas;
  5. The left renal vein;
  6. The ascending part of the duodenum;
  7. The root of the mesentery;
  8. And the intermesenteric plexus of nerves.
  1. The bodies of L1 to L4 vertebrae;
  2. The intervening intervertebral discs;
  3. And the corresponding part of the anterior longitudinal ligament.
  1. The cisterna chyli;
  2. The thoracic duct;
  3. And the right crus of the diaphragm.
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Surface Anatomy of the Abdominal Aorta


Branches of the Abdominal Aorta (from Ashwell)

Ventral Branches (unpaired)

Click here to go to the ventral branches.

  1. Coeliac trunk
  2. Superior mesenteric artery
  3. Inferior mesenteric artery

Lateral (paired)

Click here to go to the lateral branches.

  1. Inferior phrenic
  2. Middle suprarenal
  3. Renal
  4. Gonadal (ovarian or testicular)

Posterior (paired and unpaired)

Click here to go to the posterior branches.

  1. Lumbar (paired)
  2. Median sacral (unpaired)

Terminal (paired)

  1. Common iliac
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Ventral Branches

  1. Left gastric artery branches with the aortic oesophageal branches around the lower oesophagus.
  2. Anterior and posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal arteries (coeliac trunk) with the inferior pancreaticoduodenal (superior mesenteric branch) around the head of the pancreas and 2nd part of the duodenum.
  3. The marginal artery anastomosis between the middle colic and the left colic.
  4. The superior rectal artery (inferior mesenteric) with the middle rectal (internal iliac) and/or the inferior rectal (internal pudendal from internal iliac).
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Lateral Branches

Inferior Phrenic Artery


Middle Suprarenal Artery


Renal Artery


Testicular Artery


Ovarian Artery

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Dorsal Branches

Lumbar Arteries

  1. Spinal (to the vertebral canal and contents)
  2. Ventral (to body wall)
  3. Dorsal (to dorsal muscles, joints and skin)


Median Sacral Artery

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Terminal Branches of the Abdominal Aorta


Branches of the External Iliac Artery

Inferior Epigastric Artery


Deep Circumflex Iliac Artery

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Branches from the Anterior Trunk of Internal Iliac Artery


Branches of the Posterior Trunk of the Internal Iliac Artery

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Venous Drainage of the Abdomen


Portal Circulation

The Portal Vein


Tributaries of the Splenic Vein

  1. Short gastric vein
  2. Left gastro-omental (gastroepiploic) vein
  3. Pancreatic veins
  4. Inferior mesenteric (receives the left colic and sigmoid veins)


Tributaries of the Superior Mesenteric Vein

  1. Right gastro-omental (gastroepiploic) vein
  2. Pancreaticoduodenal vein
  3. Jejunal and ileal veins
  4. Ileocolic vein
  5. Right colic vein
  6. Middle colic vein
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Portal-Systemic Anastomoses

Site Portal Tributaries Systemic Tributaries
Oesophagus Left gastric oesophageal branches Oesophageal branches to azygos, accessory hemiazygos veins
Umbilicus Ligamentum teres veins (paraumbilical veins) Epigastric veins
Anal canal Superior rectal veins Middle and inferior rectal veins
Retroperitoneal Venous radicles of colon and bare area of liver Retroperitoneal veins
Liver Patent ductus venosus (branch of left portal vein branch) IVC


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Systemic Veins


Lumbar Veins


Testicular Veins


Ovarian Veins


Hepatic Veins


Other Veins

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Michael Tam (c) 1998