Background/purpose: During a pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) it is important that the anatomy of the arcade of blood vessels in the head of the pancreas is fully understood before the surgery in order to reduce intraoperative bleeding. In most of the patients our group has treated, the inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery (IPDA), one of the efferent arteries of the head of the pancreas, has formed a short common trunk with the first jejunal artery (FJA). Thus, by first locating the origin of the FJA, it was easier to locate the IPDA. There are two ways to locate the IPDA: (1) by measuring the distance between the origin of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and that of the FJA; (2) by measuring the distance between the origin of the middle colic artery (MCA) and that of the FJA. Here, we report our measurements of both distances using three-dimensional (3D) models of arteries constructed with multidetector-row computed tomography (MD-CT) images and discuss which is the better measurement to determine the location of the IPDA during PD. Methods: A total of 140 patients underwent 64-MD-CT imaging to acquire early and late arterial phase scans. The distance between the origin of the SMA and that of the FJA and the distance between the origin of the MCA and that of the FJA origin were measured. Results: In patients whose IPDA formed either a common trunk with the FJA or arose directly from the SMA, the IPDA or the common truck was located in parallel with the SMA at a very short distance of approximately 18 mm from the MCA origin towards the center. The distance between the SMA origin and the IPDA was significantly longer (approximately 36 mm). Therefore, locating the MCA origin during PD helped determine the location of the IPDA. However, in patients whose anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery (AIPDA) and posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery (PIPDA) arose separately, the distance between the AIPDA origin and the MCA origin was approximately 18 mm, the distance between the AIPDA origin and the PIPDA origin was approximately 19 mm, and the distance between the PIPDA origin and the SMA origin was 19 mm. Thus, locating the SMA helped determine the location of the IPDA during PD in these patients. Conclusion: Based on our findings that the distance between the IPDA origin and the MCA origin was short, we have shown that it is effective to locate the MCA origin in order to determine the location of the IPDA.
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