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Intraoperative Archive of Right Colonic Vascular Variability Aids Central Vascular Ligation and Redefines Gastrocolic Trunk of Henle Variants

Alsabilah, Jamal F. M.D.; Razvi, Syed A. M.D.; Albandar, Mahdi H. M.D.; Kim, Nam K. M.D., Ph.D.

Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: January 2017 - Volume 60 - Issue 1 - p 22–29
doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000000720
Original Contributions: Colorectal/Anal Neoplasia

BACKGROUND: Vascular supply to the right colon has become an issue because of high variability and subsequent impact on minimally invasive surgery. Past cadaveric or radiologic anatomic assessments are noncomprehensive.

OBJECTIVE: Intraoperative charting of right colonic arteriovenous anatomy was undertaken to determine the incidence and scope of vascular variations.

DESIGN: Vascular anatomy variations were documented in snapshot images, captured during laparoscopic video recordings or through open surgical digital photography.

SETTINGS: Data were drawn from consecutive right hemicolectomies, routinely entailing complete mesocolic excision with central vascular ligation.

PATIENTS: Seventy patients (mean age, 62.7 years; 37 women (52.8%); 33 men (47.2%)), each with surgically treatable right-sided colon cancer, were prospectively studied.

RESULTS: Both ileocolic and middle colic arteries were regularly identified (100%), with right colic artery present in 41.4% of patients. Ileocolic and middle colic veins consistently drained into the right colon. Although the ileocolic vein always emptied into the superior mesenteric vein, drainage of the middle colic vein was split (superior mesenteric vein, 94.3%; gastrocolic trunk of Henle, 5.3%), as was drainage of the right colic (superior mesenteric vein, 43.3%; gastrocolic trunk of Henle, 56.7%) and accessory middle colic veins (superior mesenteric vein, 54.5%; gastrocolic trunk of Henle, 45.5%), present in 42.9% and 15.7% of patients. Gastrocolic trunk of Henle was found in 88.6% of patients, usually draining into the superior mesenteric vein. No significant sex-related differences were present regarding the incidence and scope of variability displayed by the right colic artery, right colic vein, accessory middle colic vein, or gastrocolic trunk of Henle classification (p > 0.05).

LIMITATIONS: The inconsistency between cadaver and live surgery anatomy and the low BMI of the Asian population might be drawbacks of our study.

CONCLUSIONS: Variations in right colonic arteriovenous channels, assessed intraoperatively, corroborate those established by cadaveric and radiologic means, prompting a new gastrocolic trunk of Henle classification.

Department of Surgery, Division of Colorectal Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Financial Disclosure: None reported.

Poster presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Los Angeles, CA, April 30 to May 4, 2016.

Correspondence: Nam K. Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei University Health System, 50 Yonsei-ro Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120–752, Korea. E-mail:

© 2017 The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons