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Right Colic Artery
Cardiovascular System

Right Colic Artery

Arteria colica dextra

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superior mesenteric artery.

Course: Passes to the right across the posterior abdominal wall to the left side of the mid-ascending colon.

Branches: Ascending and descending branches.

Supplied Structures: Ascending colon, right colic flexure.

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The right colic artery arises from the superior mesenteric artery, often from a common trunk with the middle colic artery.


The right colic artery emerges from the right side, usually off the middle third, of the superior mesenteric artery. It passes retroperitoneally to the right across the inner surface of the posterior abdominal wall (including right psoas major and quadratus lumborum muscles) to the left side of the mid-ascending colon.


Ascending and descending branches emerge from the right colic artery just before it reaches the ascending colon. These supply the length of the colon along which they travel and anastomose with the middle colic and ileocolic branches, respectively. Due to the extensive anastomoses between the arteries supplying different portions of the large intestine, it is quite resistant to ischemia except where the blockage is quite close to the organ itself.

Supplied Structures

The right colic artery supplies the ascending colon, from approximately one third from the ileocecal junction to just beyond the right colic flexure. The precise extent of the vascular territory is unclear due to anastomoses with arteries supplying the inferior portion of ascending colon (ileocolic artery) and those supplying the transverse colon (middle colic artery). Taken together, these contribute to an extensive arterial “circle,” or marginal artery (of Drummond), supplying the entirety of the large intestine.

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