The ileocolic artery (Latin: arteria ileocolica) is one of the blood vessels that arise from the right side of the superior mesenteric artery. It supplies the last part of the ileum, the cecum, and the appendix.
The ileocolic artery travels downward and to the right toward the right iliac fossa, where it divides into superior and inferior branches.
The superior branch passes upward along the ascending colon to anastomose with the right colic artery.
The inferior branch of the ileocolic artery continues toward the ileocolic junction, where it divides into several branches, including the following:
- colic branch - crosses to the ascending colon and travels upward to supply the first part of the ascending colon;
- anterior and posterior cecal branches - arising either as a common trunk or as separate branches, supplying the corresponding sides of the cecum;
- appendicular branch - enters the free margin of the mesoappendix, supplying it, as well as the appendix;
- ileal branch - passes to the left and ascends to supply the final part of the ileum before anastomosing with the superior mesenteric artery.