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Ileocolic artery

The ileocolic artery (Latin: arteria ileocolica) is one of the blood vessels that arise from the right side of the superior mesenteric artery. It supplies the final part of the ileum, cecum and vermiform appendix, and the initial part of the ascending colon.

Abdomen, Digestive system, Gastrointestinal tract, Large intestine, Cecum, Colon, Arterial blood supply, Ileocolic artery, Anterior view
Arterial blood supply of large intestine (cecum and colon) by Anatomy.app

The ileocolic artery travels downward and to the right toward the right iliac fossa, where it divides into superior and inferior branches. Its superior branch passes upward along the ascending colon to anastomose with the right colic artery. The inferior branch of the ileocolic artery continues toward the ileocolic junction, where it divides into several branches:

  • Colic branch - crosses to the ascending colon and travels upward to supply the proximal part of the ascending colon;
  • Anterior and posterior cecal branches - arise either as a common trunk or as separate branches, supplying the corresponding sides of the cecum;
  • Appendicular branch - enters the free margin of the mesoappendix, supplying it, as well as the appendix;
  • Ileal branch - passes to the left and ascends to supply the distal portion of the ileum before anastomosing with the superior mesenteric artery.