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Dorsal pancreatic artery

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 06 Jun 2018

The dorsal pancreatic artery is a branch of the splenic artery that supplies the pancreas. It arises from the proximal splenic artery and descends a short distance to run along the posterior margin of the pancreas where it divides in to left and right branches.

  • the right branches pass either anterior or posterior to the superior mesenteric vein, suppling that part of the head and neck of the pancreas and anastomosing with branches of the pancreaticoduodenal arcade (Kirk's arcade)
  • the left branch, usually singular, supplies the body and tail of the pancreas, anastomosing with branches of the transverse pancreatic artery

Variant anatomy

The dorsal pancreatic artery may arise from the superior mesenteric artery or celiac trunk 3.

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