Acute management of mesenteric emergencies: Tailoring the solution to the problem

Rebecca N. Treffalls, David P. Stonko, Randall R. DeMartino, Jonathan J. Morrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) constitutes a life-threatening problem that can result in death, multiorgan failure, and severe nutritional disability. Although AMI is a rare cause of acute abdominal emergencies, ranging between 1 and 2 individuals per 10,000, the morbidity and mortality rates are high. Arterial embolic etiology composes nearly one-half of AMIs, with a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain considered the most common symptom. Arterial thrombosis is the second most common cause of AMI, which presents similarly to arterial embolic AMI, although often more severe due to anatomic differences. Veno-occlusive causes of AMI are the third most common and are associated with an insidious onset of vague abdominal pain. Each patient is unique, and the treatment plan should be tailored to their individual needs. This may include considering the patient's age, comorbidities, and overall health, as well as their preferences and personal circumstances. A multidisciplinary approach involving specialists from different fields, such as surgeons, interventional radiologists, and intensivists, is recommended for the best possible outcome. Potential challenges in tailoring an optimal treatment plan for AMI may include delayed diagnosis, limited availability of specialized care, or patient factors that make some interventions less feasible. Addressing these challenges requires a proactive and collaborative approach, with regular review and adjustment of the treatment plan as needed to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-249
Number of pages16
JournalSeminars in Vascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • AMI
  • Acute mesenteric ischemia
  • Bowel salvage
  • Endovascular
  • Mesenteric emergencies
  • Revascularization


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