Purpose: In the present study, we focused on the accessory middle colic artery and aimed to increase the safety and curative value of colorectal cancer surgery by investigating the artery course and branching patterns.
Methods: We included 143 cases (mean age, 70.4 ± 11.2 years; 86 males) that had undergone surgery for neoplastic large intestinal lesions at the First Department of Surgery at Yamagata University Hospital between August 2015 and July 2018. We constructed three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) angiograms and fused them with reconstructions of the large intestines. We investigated the prevalence of the accessory middle colic artery, the variability of its origin, and the prevalence and anatomy of the arteries accompanying the inferior mesenteric vein at the same level as the origin of the inferior mesenteric artery.
Results: Accessory middle colic artery was observed in 48.9% (70/143) cases. This arose from the superior mesenteric artery in 47, from the inferior mesenteric artery in 21, and from the celiac artery in two cases. In 78.2% (112/143) cases, an artery accompanying the inferior mesenteric vein was present at the same level as the origin of the inferior mesenteric artery; this artery was the left colic artery in 92, the accessory middle colic artery in 11, and it divided and became the left colic artery and the accessory middle colic artery in 10 cases.
Conclusion: 3D CT angiograms are useful for preoperative evaluation. Accessory middle colic arteries exist and were observed in 14.9% of cases.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Inferior mesenteric artery; Laparoscopic surgery; Middle colic artery; Splenic flexure; Transverse colon.