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  • 2245
  • 2019-11-25

Vascular anatomy of left and right colon: standard vs. variations

Epublication WebSurg.com, Nov 2019;19(11). URL:
The vascular anatomy of the colon has some anatomical variations [1]. In this video, starting from the normal surgical anatomy of the colon, authors show many vascular anomalies of surgical interest, which should be known in order to avoid intraoperative complications. In the right colon, the ileocolic artery and the middle colic artery are constantly present in all patients as they arise from the superior mesenteric vessels [2]. Right colic vessels are present only in 80% of cases. The position of ileocolic vessels related to the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) is a key landmark. In this video, starting from the normal surgical anatomy of the right colon, authors show variant ileocolic vessels position defined type A pattern, with ileocolic artery (ICA) which lies in the anterior position in respect to the ileocolic vein (ICV). Authors also show an anomalous origin of the ileocolic vessels, which are more upper in respect to their standard position. Commonly, the ileocolic artery (ICA) lies posterior to the SMV (83%, type B). However, the ICA sometimes lies anteriorly to the SMV (17%, type A) [1]. The vascular system of the left colon has fewer variations in terms of position and origin, contrarily to the right colon. The most frequent variations of the inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) supply involve the division of the sigmoid arteries, as classified by Latarjet in two different types, depending on the anatomical relationship between the left colic and sigmoid arteries [3]. However, in this video authors show a rare case of IMA arising from the superior mesenteric artery [4]. References: 1. Milsom JW, Böhm B, Nakajima K. Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery 2006, Springer. 2. Wu C, Ye K, Wu Y, Chen Q, Xu J, Lin J, Kang W. Variations in right colic vascular anatomy observed during laparoscopic right colectomy. World J Surg Oncol 2019;17:16. 3. Patroni A, Bonnet S, Bourillon C, Bruzzi M, Zinzindohoue F, Chevallier JM, Douard R, Berger A. Technical difficulties of left colic artery preservation during left colectomy for colon cancer. Surg Radiol Anat 2016;38:477-84. 4. Yoo SJ, Ku MJ, Cho SS, Yoon SP. A case of the inferior mesenteric artery arising from the superior mesenteric artery in a Korean woman. J Korean Med Sci 2011;26:1382-5.