A Rare Branching Pattern of a Middle Mesenteric Artery Supplying the Head of the Pancreas and the Transverse Colon
Keywords:Inferior Pancreaticoduodenal Artery, Middle Colic Artery, Abdominal Aorta, Superior Mesenteric Artery
Objective. The appearance of a middle mesenteric artery is a rare branching variation, with an incidence lower than 0.1%. Our case reports such an anatomical artery pattern which was discovered in a male Caucasian cadaver during routine educational dissection. This alternation is seldom encountered and may trouble diagnostic and surgical interventions.
Case Report. The case of a Middle Mesenteric Artery is described, as a vessel originating from the Abdominal Aorta 3.3 cm below the origin of the Superior Mesenteric and 3.8 cm above the origin of the Inferior Mesenteric Artery. The middle mesenteric artery, directed upwards, gives two branches for supplying blood to the head of the pancreas. We first mention the thinner branch, corresponding to the posterior one of the inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, and second the thicker branch corresponding to the anterior branch of the Inferior Pancreaticoduodenal Artery. The main artery continues its course between the two sheets of the mesocolon to supply the transverse colon, thus substituting the normal colic artery.
Conclusion. The occurrence of a Middle Mesenteric Artery constitutes a very rare anatomic variation. We present, to our knowledge, the first case described where the Middle Mesenteric Artery provides blood to the pancreas.