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Scientific article
Open access
English

Re-interpreting mesenteric vascular anatomy on 3D virtual and/or physical models: positioning the middle colic artery bifurcation and its relevance to surgeons operating colon cancer

Published inSurgical Endoscopy
Publication date2021
Abstract

Background The impact of the position of the middle colic artery (MCA) bifurcation and the trajectory of the accessory MCA (aMCA) on adequate lymphadenectomy when operating colon cancer have as of yet not been described and/or analysed in the literature. The aim of this study was to determine the MCA bifurcation position to anatomical landmarks and to assess the trajectory of aMCA. Methods The colonic vascular anatomy was manually reconstructed in 3D from high-resolution CT datasets using Osirix MD and 3-matic Medical and analysed. CT datasets were exported as STL files and supplemented with 3D printed models when required. Results Thirty-two datasets were analysed. The MCA bifurcation was left to the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) in 4 (12.1%), in front of SMV in 17 (53.1%) and right to SMV in 11 (34.4%) models. Median distances from the MCA origin to bifurcation were 3.21 (1.18–15.60) cm. A longer MCA bifurcated over or right to SMV, while a shorter bifurcated left to SMV (r = 0.457, p = 0.009). The main MCA direction was towards right in 19 (59.4%) models. When initial directions included left, the bifurcation occurred left to or anterior to SMV in all models. When the initial directions included right, the bifurcation occurred anterior or right to SMV in all models. The aMCA was found in 10 (31.3%) models, following the inferior mesenteric vein (IMV) in 5 near the lower pancreatic border. The IMV confluence was into SMV in 18 (56.3%), splenic vein in 11 (34.4%) and jejunal vein in 3 (9.4%) models. Conclusion Awareness of the wide range of MCA bifurcation positions reported is crucial for the quality of lymphadenectomy performed. The aMCA occurs in 31.3% models and its trajectory is in proximity to the lower pancreatic border in one half of models, indicating that it needs to be considered when operating splenic flexure cancer.

Keywords
  • Middle colic artery
  • Left colectomy
  • Colonic cancer surgery
  • Mesenteric vascular anatomy
  • Splenic flexure cancer
  • Accessory middle colic artery
  • 3D printing
Citation (ISO format)
ANDERSEN, Bjarte T. et al. Re-interpreting mesenteric vascular anatomy on 3D virtual and/or physical models: positioning the middle colic artery bifurcation and its relevance to surgeons operating colon cancer. In: Surgical Endoscopy, 2021. doi: 10.1007/s00464-020-08242-8
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Article (Published version)
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0930-2794
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Creation01/26/2021 8:23:00 AM
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