Acute mesenteric ischemia

James R. Stone*, Luke R. Wilkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Acute mesenteric ischemia is a life-threatening condition that occurs when an abrupt decrease in blood flow results in inadequate supply to the intestines, leading to bowel infarction. Etiologies may include arterial embolus, arterial or venous thrombosis, and nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia. Other causes include vasculitis, traumatic injury, dissection of the aorta, cholesterol emboli, and intestinal obstruction. Mortality rates can approach 90% in the setting of bowel infarction. As such, it is important to establish an early diagnosis before the onset of bowel infarction. Treatment has traditionally involved surgical management. However, endovascular approaches have been increasingly reported in multiple case series describing success with initial endovascular therapy followed by open surgical intervention in some cases. Acuity of presentation, presence of bowel infarction, etiology of the ischemia, and risk factors may influence a planned treatment approach. The key to successful treatment of acute mesenteric ischemia involves early clinical recognition based on a detailed history and physical examination along with assessment of contributory risk factors, rapid acquisition of appropriate diagnostics to confirm a diagnosis, and early intervention to correct the underlying abnormality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalTechniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Endovascular
  • Interventional radiology
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Thrombectomy
  • Thrombolysis


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