The source of the appendicular artery is usually the ileocolic artery, which also gives rise to the colic, cecal, and ileal arteries. In some cases, however, the appendicular is a branch of the anterior cecal, posterior cecal, or ileocolic artery. Whatever its origin, it is an end artery that does not join with another, and it has no named branches of its own. The artery travels behind the terminal ileum (the tip of the final third of the small intestine) before entering the border of the mesentery of the appendix, which is also referred to as the mesoappendix. It then travels beside the appendix to its tip, supplying the appendix with blood. During surgical removal of the appendix (appendectomy), the appendicular artery is tied off (or ligated), along with the appendicular vein. If one of the branches from the artery becomes blocked, the result can be local tissue death (necrosis), perforation, abscess, or even peritonitis, a generalized inflammation of the abdominal lining.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Appendicular artery