Rare anatomic variation of the right hepatic artery and accessory right hepatic artery supplying hepatocellular carcinoma: A case report and literature review

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Each hepatic artery is functionally essential for providing blood supply to the liver, and so are variant arteries. Variant arteries, including the accessory right hepatic artery (ARHA) and replaced right hepatic artery (RRHA) are commonly described in the literature. However, they usually occur independently. Here, we report an extremely rare case that involved both an ARHA and an RRHA arising from the gastroduodenal artery (GDA) and superior mesenteric artery (SMA), respectively. To date, this situation has never been reported in the literature.


They were preoperatively identified during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination in a 69-year-old male patient with hepatocellular carcinoma. And they were further verified by following conventional angiography for transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for the patient. In addition, the patient's tumor was primarily supplied by these 2 variant arteries. After the successful TACE procedure, the patient had a well postoperative recovery.


By analyzing this case and performing a systematic review of the literature, the important clinical implications of the ARHA and RRHA will be investigated and discussed. Main lessons learned from this case thorough understanding of the normal anatomy of the hepatic artery and its anatomic variation is crucial for surgeons and interventional radiologists; preoperative computed tomography, MRI, and intraoperative angiography play an important role in detecting the variant hepatic artery; identifying these anomalous hepatic arteries before operation can effectively avoid unintentional injury during surgery, such as massive hemorrhage or hepatic infarction.

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