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Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2017 Jun 14. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2017.0053. [Epub ahead of print]

Types of coeliac trunk branching including accessory hepatic arteries: a new point of view based on cadaveric study.

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Department of Normal and Clinical Anatomy, Interfaculty Chair of Anatomy and Histology, Medical University of Lodz,, Poland.


The coeliac trunk is major visceral branch of the abdominal aorta. Familiarity with anatomic variations of the coeliac trunk is relevant for planning radiological and surgical procedures. The aim of our research was determining variations of the coeliac trunk, including the occurrence of accessory hepatic arteries. 40 cadavers were studied. Six patterns of coeliac trunk branching were observed in this study. Accessory hepatic arteries were observed in seven specimens (17.5%). The most prevalent variation was normal trifurcation, accounting for 62.5% of cases. The rarest variation was absence of the coeliac trunk, with an incidence of 2.5%. In this variant the left gastric artery, the common hepatic artery, and the splenic artery branched directly off the abdominal aorta. The study material allowed to distinguish two coeliac tunk branching patterns which, to the best of our knowledge, have not been reported before. It was a type with four branches originating from the coeliac trunk: the left gastric artery, the common hepatic artery, the splenic artery, and right accessory hepatic artery. The other previously unreported pattern variant was also a coeliac trunk which gave off the coeliac trunk gave off three branches: the common hepatic artery, the splenic artery and right accessory hepatic artery. The average distance between the aortic hiatus and the coeliac trunk calculated for all the cadavers amounted to 54 mm (SD = 11.85 mm). The average distance between the coeliac trunk and the superior mesenteric artery was 11.1 mm (SD = 7.7 mm).


accessory hepatic artery; anatomical variations; coeliac trunk; hepatosplenic trunk; left gastric artery

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