A cadaveric study on variations of the cystic artery in the department of pathology, at the university teaching hospitals, Lusaka, Zambia.

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Sing`ombe, Isaac
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The University of Zambia.
The main source of blood supply to the gall bladder is the cystic artery which is a branch of the right hepatic artery. Anatomical variations of the cystic artery are frequent. Thus, careful dissection of the Calot`s triangle is necessary for conventional and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The knowledge of variations of the origin, course, and length of the cystic artery is important for the surgeon as bleeding from the cystic artery during cholecystectomy can lead to death. The objectives of the study were; 1. To establish the origin of the cystic artery. 2. To determine the length of the cystic artery. 3. To establish the course of the cystic artery. 4. To establish the relationship of the cystic artery to the cystic duct. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study design in which 32 post-mortem human cadavers at the University Teaching Hospitals, Pathology Department, Lusaka were dissected and examined over a period of five weeks. A data collection form was used as a tool to gather the data and sample selection was done through systematic sampling. Data was entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Statistics, version 22.0 (SPSS). A Chi-square and Fisher`s test was used to test association between variables. The cadavers dissected were aged between 22 and 66 years (mean 36.06±11.992) and of the 32, 27 were males and 5 females. Out of the 32 human cadavers, the cystic artery was found to be originating from the right hepatic artery in twenty-eight (87.5%), from hepatic artery proper in three (9.4%) and from the left hepatic artery in one (3.1%). In the twenty-nine (90.6%) cadavers dissected only one cystic artery was identified and in three (9.4%) others there were two arteries detected. The cystic artery length ranged from 2 – 6 cm (mean 3.56±1.0285 cm). The cystic artery was found to be inside Calot`s triangle in twenty-seven (84.3%) while in three (9.4%) it was outside the Calot`s triangle. The cystic artery was found to be passing supero-medial to the cystic duct in thirty (93.8%) while in two (6.3%) the cystic artery was passing anterior to the cystic duct. Demographic characteristic (gender and age) had no statistically significant association to variations of cystic artery (p>0.005). Five (18.5%) of males had variants of cystic artery and no females had variants of the cystic artery. Variations of the cystic artery origin, length, its course through the Calot`s triangle and its relation to the cystic duct are common. Knowledge of these variations is important and helpful in preventing and controlling haemorrhage or avoiding other complications during conventional and laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Thesis of Master of Science in Human Anatomy.