Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Blood supply of the foregut, midgut and hindgut

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Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Blood supply of the foregut, midgut and hindgut

USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Blood supply of the foregut, midgut and hindgut

Figure 1: Blood supply of the foregut, midgut and hindgut. 
Figure 2: Branches of the celiac trunk supplying the foregut. 
Figure 3: Branches of the superior mesenteric artery supplying the midgut. 
Figure 4: Branches of the superior and inferior mesenteric artery supplying the colon. 
Figure 5: Arteries supplying the rectum and anal canal, posterior view. 
Figure 6: Venous drainage of the colon. 


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 45-year-old man is undergoing a sleeve gastrectomy. The procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach along the middle part of the greater curvature. Which of the following major arteries supplies this region of the gastrointestinal tract?  


The gastrointestinal tract is essentially a long tube extending from our mouth to our rectum. We rely on it to eat, break down our food and turn it into get the picture.

Due to its role in breakdown and absorption of nutrients, it is important to understand the different divisions and blood supply of the gastrointestinal tract.

The abdominal section of the gastrointestinal tract develops from three embryological structures called the primordial foregut, midgut and hindgut.

And, in turn, the foregut, midgut and hindgut all derive from the three embryonic germ layers: the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm.

The mesoderm is what forms the peritoneum, which either completely or partially lines the organs of the peritoneal cavity including the gastrointestinal tract.

It’s important to understand these different embryological divisions as the foregut, midgut, and hindgut each have their own unique blood supply.

The foregut extends from the esophagus to the duodenum at the level of the major duodenal papilla where the pancreatic and common bile duct insert, and it consists of the esophagus, stomach, the proximal duodenum, as well as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen.


  1. "First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2020 30th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2020)
  2. "Grant's Dissector" Wolters Kluwer Hleath & Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2012)
  3. "Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 7e" Wolters Kluwer (2017)

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