Multiple variations in the branching pattern of the abdominal aorta

Vol. 51 No. 3, 2010


A. Raikos, G. K. Paraskevas, K. Natsis, A. Tzikas, S. N. Njau

We report on a unique clinically and surgically significant case of multiple abdominal aorta variations. Specifically, the left inferior phrenic, left gastric and splenic artery arose in common from the left aspect of the aorta constituting a common phrenogastrosplenic trunk, while the common hepatic artery originated separately from the midline of the anterior aspect of the aorta just inferiorly to the trunk. An accessory right hepatic artery arises from the right-anterior aspect of the abdominal aorta adjacent to superior mesenteric artery origin. On the left side, two renal arteries were observed. Moreover, the left gonadal artery exhibited a high origin, arising inferiorly to the upper left renal artery. We discuss about the embryological development of abdominal aorta arterial abnormalities and we attempt to sort the noticed variations according to existing classification in the literature. It is highlighted that the thorough knowledge of these arterial variations is important for the success of upper abdomen surgical operations such as liver and kidney transplantation, kidney preservation, abdominal aorta related vascular surgery, treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma by transcatheter arterial chemoembolizations as well as imaging interpretation of the region. Preoperative selective angiography or other abdominal aorta imaging studies are helpful for arterial variation demonstration and a precious tool for appropriate surgery planning.

Corresponding author: Athanasios Raikos, Research Fellow, MD, e-mail:

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