Splenic Artery Originating from the Superior Mesenteric Artery: An Unusual but Important Anatomic Variant

Ochsner J. 2015 Winter;15(4):476-8.


Background: Variations in the origin, course, and branching of visceral arteries, particularly those of the celiac artery and superior mesenteric artery (SMA), are well documented in medical literature. Identifying any variation is necessary prior to abdominal surgery.

Case report: A 72-year-old male presented after a pancreatic body mass was incidentally found on abdominal computed tomography (CT). The CT revealed an anatomic anomaly of the splenic artery. The patient's splenic artery originated from his SMA rather than from his celiac artery.

Conclusion: Accounting for this anatomic anomaly prior to performing an open distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy was essential to the surgery's success. Ligation of the splenic vein followed by early ligation of the splenic artery allowed for minimal splenic congestion. Preoperative planning and understanding the patient's unique anatomy minimized the risk of an adverse outcome.

Keywords: Blood vessels; celiac artery; mesenteric artery–superior; splenic artery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports