Circulation in the Abdominal Area

Arteries - carry blood to the organs

To the left of the pin you can see the descending aorta (1) as it passes through the diaphragm.

Its first branch is the celiac trunk (2), which divides into:

(3) hepatic artery supplying the liver,
(4) left gastric artery supplying the stomach,
(5) splenic artery supplying the spleen, pancreas and stomach.

Its second branch is the anterior mesenteric artery (6)

Click here to see its branches

(7) colic arteries (ileocolic, middle colic and left colic)
(8) posterior pancreaticoduodenal artery
(9) intestinal arteries

The descending aorta also gives rise to the adrenolumbar (to the adrenal gland) and renal arteries (to the kidney).

Veins - carry blood toward the heart

In this region of the abdomen the posterior vena cava (1) receives blood from the

(2) renal vein draining the kidney and the

( 3) adrenolumbar vein draining the adrenal glands, lying directly under the vein, and the dorsal area of the abdominal cavity

Hepatic Portal Veins - blood is moving toward the liver

Before examining the vessels of the hepatic portal system you should review the major organs of the digestive system.

Click here for a close up view of the abdominal area

The arrow is pointing at the cecum, which is a blind pouch that lies near the junction of the small intestine and the colon.

Click to trace the flow of blood in the hepatic portal system.

The hepatic portal system begins in the capillary beds of the digestive organs and transports blood to the liver where it is processed. In your cats the vessels of the hepatic portal system will appear brown as no latex has been injected. In this cat the hepatic portal system was injected with yellow latex. Blood in the hepatic portal system is low in oxygen but high in nutrients.

The large vessel seen in the intestinal region is the anterior mesenteric vein (5). It is formed by the union of:

(1) intestinal veins draining the small intestine,
(2) colic veins
draining the anterior regions of the colon,
(3) posterior mesenteric veins
draining the posterior colon,
(4) posterior pancreaticodueodenal vein
- draining the posterior portions of the pancreas and duodenum.

After its union with the gastrosplenic vein (6), the anterior mesenteric vein continues as the hepatic portal vein (7). The hepatic portal system terminates in the capillary beds of the liver and the blood continues on its journey toward the heart in the hepatic veins, which join the inferior vena cava just before it passes through the diaphragm.

Click here for a close up view of the hepatic portal vein

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