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Cystic Artery
Cardiovascular System

Cystic Artery

Arteria cystica

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Quick Facts

Origin: Right hepatic artery.

Course: Passes superiorly and to the right, posterior to the common hepatic duct; travels superior to the cystic duct.

Branches: Superficial and deep branches.

Supplied Structures: Gallbladder.

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The cystic artery arises from the right hepatic artery in 70–80% of individuals but can be quite variable (Andall et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2000). It has also been observed as a branch of the hepatic artery proper, the gastroduodenal artery, and superior pancreaticoduodenal artery.


The cystic artery usually crosses posterior to the common bile duct within the hepatobiliary triangle and follows the cystic duct along its superior surface to the neck of the gallbladder. Its relationship to the biliary ducts is variable (Andall et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2000).


Typically, upon reaching the superior aspect of the neck of the gallbladder, the cystic artery bifurcates. A superficial branch passes deep to the visceral peritoneum along the gallbladder’s inferior surface. A deep branch runs between the superior surface of the gallbladder and the substance of the liver that is its fossa.

Supplied Structures

The cystic artery supplies the gallbladder. It also contributes branches that anastomose with the main arteries supplying the cystic duct, common hepatic duct, and common bile duct.


Andall, R. G., Matusz, P., du Plessis, M., Ward, R., Tubbs, R. S. and Loukas, M. (2016) 'The clinical anatomy of cystic artery variations: a review of over 9800 cases', Surg Radiol Anat, 38(5), pp. 529-39.

Chen, T. H., Shyu, J. F., Chen, C. H., Ma, K. H., Wu, C. W., Lui, W. Y. and Liu, J. C. (2000) 'Variations of the cystic artery in Chinese adults', Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech, 10(3), pp. 154-7.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


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.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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