The anterior cecal artery supplies oxygen-enriched blood to the front part of the cecum — the start of the large intestine. The cecum connects the ileum (or final portion) of the small intestine to the ascending colon of the large intestine. The anterior cecal artery is a branch of the ileocolic artery. The ileocolic artery is a branch of the superior mesenteric artery, which branches off the abdominal aorta. The anterior cecal artery passes in front of the ileocecal junction (the valve connecting the end of the small intestine with the beginning of the large intestine) before connecting to the cecum.