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Superior mesenteric artery

Synonym: SMA, superior visceral artery
German: Arteria mesenterica superior

1 Definition

The superior mesenteric artery is a branch of the abdominal aorta immediately after the separation of the celiac trunk. So, the superior mesenteric artery is the 2nd unpaired branch of the abdominal artery after the celiac trunk.

2 Devolution

The superior mesenteric artery origins from the aorta at around the height of the first lumbar vertebra, and it draws into anterior and inferior direction, where it passes behind the cervical part of the pancreas and the splenic vein. Between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta, you can find the following structures:

The superior mesenteric artery is accompanied by the eponymous superior mesenteric vein.

3 Branches

After passing the cervix of the pancreas, the superior mesenteric artery divides into several branches:

Furthermore, the superior mesenteric artery sends branches to the ileum and the jejunum (iliac arteries and jejunal arteries).

4 Function

The superior mesenteric artery supplies

5 Clinical presentation

The superior mesenteric artery can be affected by a mesenterial artery stenosis. Moreover, the left renal vein can be compressed between the superior mesenteric artery and the abdominal aorta, which can lead to the so-called nutcracker phenomenon.

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