Clinical significance of hepatic artery variations originating from the superior mesenteric artery in abdominal tumor surgery

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Abstract

Background

Hepatic artery variations are frequent clinical occurrences. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristic course of variant hepatic arteries originating from the superior mesenteric artery for the purpose of providing instructions for abdominal tumor surgery.

Methods

The course of variant hepatic arteries originating from the superior mesenteric artery was studied in 400 patients with liver cancer confirmed by digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and multi-slice spiral computed tomography angiography (MSCTA), and 86 patients with gastric cancer confirmed by preoperative MSCTA between June 2008 and June 2010 in the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University.

Results

Hepatic artery variations originating from the superior mesenteric artery were noticed in 49 liver cancer patients and 14 gastric cancer patients (total 63 cases), with a variation rate of 12.96%, including two cases (3.17%) where the hepatic arteries ran along the anterior pancreas, and 61 cases (96.83%) where the hepatic arteries ran along the posterior pancreas.

Conclusions

Hepatic artery variations originating from the superior mesenteric artery present as two types: the pre-pancreas type and the post-pancreas type with the latter predominating. This finding is of clinical significance in abdominal tumor surgeries where clearance of portal lymph nodes is needed.

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