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End artery

German: Endarterie

1 Definition

End arteries are a specific category of arteries, whose supply area cannot be supplied additionally via an anatomical preformed collateral arteries (eg. an anastomosis with another artery).

2 Pathophysiology

An example of an end artery occurs with the last little branches of the arteria mesenterica superior, which diverge close to the bowels. If an occlusion occurs to one of these ending branches, in the instance of embolism the ischaemia of the affected part results in infarction.

If an arterial occlusion is generated gradually, the regeneration of vessels of already existing vascular branching can prevent an infarction by creating and developing a sufficient collateral supply.

2.1 Functional endarteries

With regard to functional end arteries: a collateral supply already exists, however it would be insufficient in the instance of occlusion and cannot be regarded as an alternative supply. A well-known example of a functional end artery is the coronary artery.

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