Blood Vessels in the Stomach

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The stomach is a baglike, J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. The inside curve of the J is known as the lesser curvature of the stomach, and the outer curve is known as the greater curvature. The top of the J is known as the fundus. Arteries supply each of these regions with blood. A network of different veins carry blood away from the different stomach areas.

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Coeliac Artery

At the most basic level, all blood comes to the stomach through the coeliac artery, which branches off the abdominal aorta at the level of the stomach. The coeliac then branches into three further arteries, all of which are involved in the gastric blood supply. These include the left gastric artery, the splenic artery and the common hepatic artery.

Left Gastric and Splenic Arteries

The left gastric artery is the uppermost branch off the coeliac trunk. The left gastric artery takes blood to the stomach's lesser curvature. The splenic artery branches off to the left of the coeliac trunk and separates further into the short gastric artery and the left gastroepiploic artery. These arteries supply the fundus of the stomach and the left side of the greater curvature, respectively.

Right Gastric and Right Gastroepiploic Arteries

The third branch arising from the coeliac trunk is the common hepatic artery. The upper two branches of the common hepatic artery go to the liver and gall bladder, but the third one supplies blood to the stomach as the gastroduodenal artery. It splits again into the right gastric and right gastroepiploic arteries. The right gastric artery takes blood to the right side of the lesser curvature, and the right gastroepiploic artery supplies the right part of the greater curvature.

Stomach Veins

Several veins collect blood from different regions of the stomach. These stomach veins meet up with larger veins that route blood to the liver. The short gastric veins take blood from the fundus of the stomach to the larger splenic vein. The left gastroepiploic and right gastroepiploic veins collect blood from the greater curvature of the stomach and bring it to the superior mesenteric vein. The left gastric vein and the right gastric vein drain the lesser curvature of the stomach; they empty into the portal vein.

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