The Celiac Trunk and Its Anatomical Variations: A Cadaveric Study

David F. Pinal-Garcia, Carlos M. Nuno-Guzman, Maria E. Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Tomas R. Ibarra-Hurtado


Background: The celiac artery, celiac axis or celiac trunk is the first major abdominal branch of the aorta. Anatomic variations and accessory vessels have been reported with variable percentages. The purpose of this study was to report the pattern of the celiac trunk and its anatomic variations in a sample of Mexican population.

Methods: Celiac trunk dissection was performed in 140 fresh cadavers. Cadavers of Mexican subjects aged 18 years and older were included. Cadavers with previous upper abdominal surgery, abdominal trauma, disease process that distorted the arterial anatomy or signs of putrefaction were excluded. Celiac trunk variations and external diameter, accessory vessels, and vertebral level of origin were described. Celiac trunk patterns were reported according to the Panagouli classification. This study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of our Hospital.

Results: The celiac trunk derived in a common hepatic artery, a left gastric artery and a splenic artery (type I) in 43.6% of dissections. A true tripod was found in 7.1% and a false tripod in 36.4%. Celiac trunk bifurcation (type II) was found in 7.1%. Additional branches (type III) were observed in 47.9%. One or both phrenic arteries originated from the celiac trunk in 41.4% of dissections. Celiac trunk tetrafurcation was observed in 12.9%, pentafurcation in 12.9%, hexafurcation in 1.4%, and heptafurcation in 0.7%. The mean diameter of the celiac trunk ranged from 6 to 12 mm, with a mean diameter of 7.2 mm (SD = 1.39 mm). No significant difference was found between the diameters of the different types of celiac trunk (P > 0.05). The celiac trunk originated between the 12th thoracic and first lumbar vertebral bodies in 90% of dissections.

Conclusions: Trifurcation of the celiac trunk was lower than previously reported. A high proportion of cases with additional vessels were found.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(4):321-329


Celiac trunk; Celiac artery; Celiac axis; Anatomic variations; Cadaveric study; Celiac trunk heptafurcation; Panagouli classification

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