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Marginal Artery
Transverse Colon

Marginal Artery

Arteria marginalis coli

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superior and inferior mesenteric arteries.

Course: Travels adjacent to the colon.

Branches: Straight arteries (arteriae recta).

Supplied Structures: Colon.

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Related parts of the anatomy


The marginal artery (of Drummond) is an anastomotic channel that is formed by the combination of multiple arteries that are arranged in series along the large intestine. The arteries that form the marginal artery arise from both the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries. These include the terminal branches of the:

—ileocolic artery;

—right colic artery;

—middle colic artery;

—left colic artery;

—sigmoid arteries.


The marginal artery sits adjacent to the mesenteric border of the ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colon, and ends at the rectosigmoid junction. It is poorly developed at the sigmoid colon. Additionally, at the junction between the midgut and hindgut, i.e., the junction between the territories of the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries, the marginal artery may be poorly developed or absent. This point is referred to as Griffith’s point. Arterial supply to this area may be supplemented by an intercolic anastomotic artery (Arc of Riolan), a variable meandering artery that arises between the middle colic artery and the ascending branch of the left colic artery. This inner arterial arch is prominent when there is occlusion of the superior or inferior mesenteric arteries (Standring, 2016).


As the marginal artery travels along the colon, it gives off short terminal straight arteries, arteriae recta, which provide an arterial supply to the colon.

Supplied Structures

The marginal artery supplies the colon. The dual blood supply to the marginal artery, i.e., from the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries, ensures that the blood supply to the colon is not compromised if one vessel becomes occluded (Weber, Vilensky and Carmichael, 2018).

List of Clinical Correlates

—Colonic vascular occlusion

—Splenic flexure ischemia


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edition edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Weber, E. C., Vilensky, J. A. and Carmichael, S. W. (2018) Netter's Concise Radiologic Anatomy Updated Edition E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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