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July 1985

Physiology of the Splanchnic Circulation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(7):1278-1281. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360070158027

• The splanchnic circulation is composed of gastric, small intestinal, colonic, pancreatic, hepatic, and splenic circulations, arranged in parallel with one another. The three major arteries that supply the splanchnic organs, celiac and superior and inferior mesenteric, give rise to smaller arteries that anastomose extensively. The circulation of some splanchnic organs is complicated by the existence of an intramural circulation. Redistribution of total blood flow between intramural vascular circuits may be as important as total blood flow. Numerous extrinsic and intrinsic factors influence the splanchnic circulation. Extrinsic factors include general hemodynamic conditions of the cardiovascular system, autonomic nervous system, and circulating neurohumoral agents. Intrinsic mechanisms include special properties of the vasculature, local metabolites, intrinsic nerves, paracrine substances, and local hormones. The existence of a multiplicity of regulatory mechanisms provides overlapping controls and restricts radical changes in tissue perfusion.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:1278-1281)