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Celiac Branches of Posterior Vagal Trunk
Nervous System

Celiac Branches of Posterior Vagal Trunk

Rami coeliaci trunci vagalis posteriores

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Quick Facts

Origin: One of two branches of the posterior vagal trunk.

Course: Travels to the left to enter the celiac ganglion and plexus.

Branches: Contributes primarily to the celiac plexus, and other periarterial plexuses, including the splenic, hepatic, renal, supernal, and superior mesenteric plexuses.

Supply: Mixed nerve. Supplies visceral sensory and parasympathetic innervation to a portion of foregut, midgut, spleen, kidneys, superior portion of the ureter, and gonads.

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Origin

The celiac branches arise from the posterior vagal trunk. Visceral sensory fibers originate in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and proximal two thirds of the colon. Additional fibers originate in non-gastrointestinal tract organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and suprarenal glands.

Parasympathetic efferent fibers originating in the posterior nucleus of the vagus nerve (dorsal motor nucleus or dorsal vagal nucleus) within the medulla oblongata (Ratcliffe, Farrar and Fox, 2011).

Course

The celiac branch of the posterior vagal trunk runs from the lower posterior esophageal region, inferior to the diaphragm, through the gastropancreatic fold and to the celiac plexus which is found on the celiac trunk.

Branches

The celiac branch of the posterior vagal trunk ends in the celiac plexus, which will give rise to unnamed branches that run to the target tissues of the celiac plexus along the branches of the celiac trunk, often in the form of plexuses.

Supplied Structures

The celiac branch of the posterior vagal trunk is a mixed nerve that conveys both visceral sensory fibers and parasympathetic efferent fibers.

The visceral sensory fibers convey afferent information from the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, greater curvature of the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and proximal two thirds of the colon. Additionally, fibers are conveyed from non-gastrointestinal tract organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and suprarenal glands.

The parasympathetic efferent fibers innervate the smooth muscle and secretory cells of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, greater curvature of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and proximal two thirds of the colon. They also innervate non-gastrointestinal tract organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and suprarenal glands.

References

Ratcliffe, E. M., Farrar, N. R. and Fox, E. A. (2011) 'Development of the vagal innervation of the gut: steering the wandering nerve', Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society, 23(10), pp. 898-911.

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Posterior Vagal Trunk

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The posterior vagal trunk exits the thorax by traveling along the posterior aspect of the esophagus through the esophageal hiatus of the diaphragm.

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