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Appendicular Artery
Cardiovascular System

Appendicular Artery

Arteria appendicularis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ileal branch of the ileocolic artery.

Course: Runs behind the peritoneum of the posterior abdominopelvic wall, to the right and inferiorly posterior to the ileocecal junction and out to the base of the appendix between the layers of the mesoappendix and then along the axis of the appendix to its tip.

Branches: None.

Supplied Structures: Appendix.

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Origin

The appendicular artery arises from the ileal branch of the ileocolic artery. Occasionally, it may originate from the ileocolic artery directly, or from the posterior cecal artery.

Course

The appendicular artery runs retroperitoneally, to the right and in an inferior direction passing posterior to the distal portion of the ileum and cecum. Eventually it travels away from the posterior abdominopelvic wall between the layers of the mesoappendix out to the base of the appendix. Continuing in the mesoappendix, it travels parallel to the long axis of the appendix out to its tip.

Branches

There are no named branches; however, a small recurrent branch is given off that anastomoses with the posterior cecal artery at the base of the appendix.

Supplied Structures

The appendicular artery supplies the appendix.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Infection of the appendix (appendicitis) can lead to thrombosis, especially of the small terminal branches at the tip of the appendix, compromising blood flow and potentially leading to distal gangrene and necrosis.

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ScienceDirect image

When the artery is occluded blood is forced through the collateral vessels, drastically increasing fluid shear stress and triggering an inflammatory response which drives vessel remodeling.

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