Disposal of replaced common hepatic artery coursing within the pancreas during pancreatoduodenectomy: report of a case

Surg Today. 2005;35(11):984-7. doi: 10.1007/s00595-005-3040-5.


A replaced common hepatic artery (RCHA) originating from the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) is a rare anomaly. We herein report such a case in a 62-year-old man who was scheduled to undergo a pancreatoduodenectomy for lower bile duct cancer. Computed tomography (CT) showed the RCHA to run along the ventral side of the pancreas. Abdominal angiography showed an RCHA originating from the SMA, which communicated with an aberrant left hepatic artery from the left gastric artery. No gastroduodenal artery was observed, but instead a direct ramification of a right gastroepiploic artery was seen. Similar cases from the English literature were reviewed. The RCHA was confirmed to course first along the ventral side of, and then within, the pancreas. Clamping of the RCHA did not influence the arterial flow in the liver, and the RCHA was subsequently divided without reconstruction. In three of the five reviewed cases in which the RCHA coursed either within or along the ventral side of the pancreas, no gastroduodenal artery was found, but instead a direct ramification of a right gastroepiploic artery was observed. A combination of CT and angiographic findings can help in both the diagnosis of an anomalous RCHA coursing either within or along the ventral side of the pancreas as well as in selecting optimal operative procedures. Pancreatoduodenectomy was performed with a curative resection according to our usual practice except for the fact that we preserved the aberrant left hepatic artery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / surgery
  • Hepatic Artery / abnormalities*
  • Hepatic Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Hepatic Artery / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / abnormalities*
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / diagnostic imaging
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods