The celiac artery (also known as celiac trunk) is a short branch that arises from the commencement of the abdominal aorta at the level of twelfth thoracic vertebra. It lies behind the lesser sac of peritoneum and is surrounded by the celiac plexus.
Branches of celiac artery:
Celiac artery has three terminal branches: Left gastric artery, Splenic artery and Hepatic artery.
Left gastric artery:
It is a small branch that runs from its origin to the cardiac end of stomach where it gives off a few esophageal branches in the way. After reaching the cardiac end, it turns to the right along the lesser curvature and ends by anastomosing with the right gastric artery.
It is the largest of the three branches of celiac artery. It runs to the left, behind the stomach, along the upper border of pancreas. The course of the artery is wavy. On reaching the left kidney, it enters the splenicorenal ligament and runs to the hilum of spleen.
The splenic artery further gives the following branches:
- Pancreatic branches: These are numerous small branches that supply the pancreas.
- Left gastroepiploic artery: It arises near the hilum of the spleen and reaches the greater curvature of stomach in the gastrosplenic omentum. Afterwards, it passes to the right along the greater curvature of stomach between the layers of greater omentum and ends by anastomosing with the right gastroepiploic artery.
- Short gastric arteries: These are numerous small branches, five or six in number, which arise from the end of the splenic artery. They reach the fundus of the stomach in the gastrosplenic omentum, where they anastomose with the left gastric artery and left gastroepiploic artery.
It is a medium sized artery, ascending between the layers of the lesser omentum towards the liver. For purpose of description, the hepatic artery is sometimes divided into the common hepatic artery and hepatic artery proper. The common hepatic artery extends from the origin to the gastroduodenal branch, after which the remainder of the artery is called hepatic artery proper.
Hepatic artery lies in front of the opening into the lesser sac and is placed to the left of the bile duct and in front of the portal vein. At the porta hepatis, it divides into right and left branches to supply the corresponding lobes of liver.