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Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
 
vessel which supplies the whole length of the small intestine, except the superior part of the duodenum; it also supplies the cecum and the ascending part of the colon and about one-half of the transverse part of the colon. It arises from the front of the aorta, about 1.25 cm. below the celiac artery, and is crossed at its origin by the lienal vein and the neck of the pancreas. It passes downward and forward, anterior to the processus uncinatus of the head of the pancreas and inferior part of the duodenum, and descends between the layers of the mesentery to the right iliac fossa, where, considerably diminished in size, it anastomoses with one of its own branches, viz., the ileocolic. In its course it crosses in front of the inferior vena cava, the right ureter and Psoas major, and forms an arch, the convexity of which is directed foward and downward to the left side, the concavity backward and upward to the right. It is accompanied by the superior mesenteric vein, which lies to its right side, and it is surrounded by the superior mesenteric plexus of nerves.

Branches.—Its branches are:
Inferior Pancreaticoduodenal.
Ileocolic.
Intestinal.
Right Colic.
Middle Colic.
  The Inferior Pancreaticoduodenal Artery (a. pancreaticoduodenalis inferior) is given off from the superior mesenteric or from its first intestinal branch, opposite the upper border of the inferior part of the duodenum. It courses to the right between the head of the pancreas and duodenum, and then ascends to anastomose with the superior pancreaticoduodenal artery. It distributes branches to the head of the pancreas and to the descending and inferior parts of the duodenum.
  The Intestinal Arteries (aa. intestinales; vasa intestini tenuis) arise from the convex side of the superior mesenteric artery. They are usually from twelve to fifteen in number, and are distributed to the jejunum and ileum. They run nearly parallel with one another between the layers of the mesentery, each vessel dividing into two branches, which unite with adjacent branches, forming a series of arches, the convexities of which are directed toward the intestine (Fig. 535). From this first set of arches branches arise, which unite with similar branches from above and below and thus a second series of arches is formed; from the lower branches of the artery, a third, a fourth, or even a fifth series of arches may be formed, diminishing in size the nearer they approach the intestine. In the short, upper part of the mesentery only one set of arches exists, but as the depth of the mesentery increases, second, third, fourth, or even fifth groups are developed. From the terminal arches numerous small straight vessels arise which encircle the intestine, upon which they are distributed, ramifying between its coats. From the intestinal arteries small branches are given off to the lymph glands and other structures between the layers of the mesentery.
  The Ileocolic Artery (a. ileocolica) is the lowest branch arising from the concavity of the superior mesenteric artery. It passes downward and to the right behind the peritoneum toward the right iliac fossa, where it divides into a superior and an inferior branch; the inferior anastomoses with the end of the superior mesenteric artery, the superior with the right colic artery.
  The inferior branch of the ileocolic runs toward the upper border of the ileocolic junction and supplies the following branches (Fig. 536):
  (a) colic, which pass upward on the ascending colon; (b) anterior and posterior cecal, which are distributed to the front and back of the cecum; (c) an appendicular artery, which descends behind the termination of the ileum and enters the mesenteriole of the vermiform process; it runs near the free margin of this mesenteriole and ends in branches which supply the vermiform process; and (d) ileal, which run upward and to the left on the lower part of the ileum, and anastomose with the termination of the superior mesenteric.

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