Blood supply of the GI tract


Turns out there’s a lot of stuff in the abdomen. One could even say there’s almost as much as in the hand. Maybe.

There are three main trunks/arteries off the descending aorta that supply the blood to the guts.

  1. Celiac trunk – foregut (stomach to where the bile duct enters the duodenum)
    1. Common hepatic
      • Hepatic proper
        • Left hepatic
        • Right hepatic
      • Right gastric
      • Gastroduodenal
    2. Left gastric
    3. Splenic
  2. Superior mesenteric artery – midgut (from where the bile duct enters the duodenum to 2/3 across the transverse colon)
    1. Right colic
    2. Middle colic
    3. Ileocolic
    4. Ileal and jejunal branches
  3. Inferior mesenteric artery – hindgut (from 2/3 across the transverse colon to the rectum)
    1. Left colic
    2. Sigmoid
    3. Superior rectal


The stomach is needy and gets a pretty excellent blood supply, which makes remembering is a little tricky

  • Lesser curve: right and left gastric arteries
  • Greater curve: right gastroepipiloic/gastro-omental (off the gastroduodenal artery) and left gastroepipiloic/gastro-omental (off the splenic artery)
  • Fundus: short gastrics (off the splenic artery)

12 thoughts on “Blood supply of the GI tract

  1. Great picture! But it looks like you have the middle colic and right colic reversed. The middle colic does not supply the ascending colon.

  2. Great stuff here- I love the minimal layout. You might want to add the superior and inferior pancreaticoduodenal arteries though. Particularly as the latter is the firs, righ branch of the SMA.

  3. We were in UNS together at Dal! And I studied neuro there as well. I’m over in Ireland now studying medicine. I look at your site all the time and have showed it to my classmates.

    One of my professors here, who is actually English, has used your drawings in lecture! I thought I recognized one.. and then realized I had looked at the same thing on your site the night before!

    They are the best. Hope you’re well.

    Thank you thank you!! x

  4. Love this! However, I believe you have one of the hepatic branches mixed up. The common hepatic branches into the gastroduodenal & proper hepatic, and then the proper hepatic branches into the right gastric, i.e. the right gastric does not come off the common hepatic directly. Perhaps you could show that more clearly.

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