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Clin Anat. 2009 Sep;22(6):712-5. doi: 10.1002/ca.20838.

Consideration of the blood supply of the ileocecal segment in valve preserving right hemicolectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka.


The ileocecal valve (ICV) is known to control the flow of chyme and to prevent bacterial colonization of the small intestine. Preservation of this segment during right hemicolectomy is likely to prevent loss of its function. This study aimed at evaluating the arterial supply of the ICV to help preserve the valve during right hemicolectomy. Fifty-four fresh human cadavers (37 male, 17 female; median age: 54 years, range: 18-90 years) were studied after relatives gave written, informed consent. At postmortem, 20 cm of terminal ileum with the ileocecal segment and up to 20 cm of ascending colon were removed en bloc with its mesentery and blood supply. The ileocolic artery was cannulated and injected with 10 ml of water-soluble red dye under pressure. The arterial supply was dissected to demonstrate a pattern. In all, the ICV was supplied by the ileocolic artery, a branch of the superior mesenteric, which divided into an anterior and a posterior cecal artery. A marginal branch of the right colic was noted to contribute to ICV blood supply in only two (4%). Furthermore, study of the anastomosis at the ICV showed that the anterior cecal artery was present in all (100%), posterior cecal in 48 (89%), and recurrent ileal artery in 53 (98%). A rich anastomosis between vessels at the ICV; small "windows," short tributaries, were seen in 38 (70%), whereas a poor anastomotic network at the ICV; large "windows," long tributaries, between these vessels were seen in 12 (22%). In four (8%), we were unable to clearly determine between rich and poor anastomotic networks. Other variants included, absent posterior cecal artery in six (11%) and absent recurrent ileal artery in one (2%). The ICV has a predictable blood supply in the majority of patients. Preservation of the anterior cecal artery would ensure a vascularized ICV in right hemicolectomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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