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Ileal Arteries
Cardiovascular System

Ileal Arteries

Arteriae ileales

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superior mesenteric artery.

Course: Pass between the layers of the mesentery coursing to the left and inferior.

Branches: Highly branched along its course anastomosing with its own and neighboring branches forming arterial arcades.

Supplied Structures: Ileum.

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The ileal arteries arise as 8–12 branches that emerge from the left side of the distal part of the superior mesenteric artery.


The ileal arteries pass between the layers of the mesentery. The first few ileal arteries pass to the left with more distal branches gradually shifting to an inferior direction. As they get further away from the superior mesenteric artery, they become directed anteriorly, away from the posterior abdominal wall and out to the ileum.


Along their course, the ileal arteries profusely anastomose with their own and neighboring branches forming a highly interconnected arterial arcade of two to six tiers. The higher density of arcades is a distinguishing feature of ileal versus jejunal intestinal arteries. From the distal arcades emerge straight vasa recta.

Due to the rich anastomoses within the arterial arcades, blockage of ileal arteries and their proximal arcades rarely leads to ischemia because of collateral flow.

Supplied Structures

The ileal arteries supply the ileum.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Iliac Artery

ScienceDirect image

Once the iliac arteries are crossed and the guidewire is in the aorta, we recommend placing a 7-French or larger sheath across the lesion before starting the endarterectomy to prevent disruption of the thin walled vessel after the endarterectomy.

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