The median arcuate ligament syndrome: A mimicker of mesenteric vasculitis

Johnson C. Kay, Ramon A. Arroyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The median arcuate ligament syndrome is an uncommon condition characterized by the triad of postprandial abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, and an epigastric bruit. This condition is diagnostically challenging and patients often undergo extensive laboratory, radiographic, and invasive evaluations before it is identified. Physicians should consider this syndrome in the differential diagnoses of chronic abdominal pain and mesenteric vasculitis. Once diagnosed, treatment is generally surgical with known predictors of favorable and unfavorable outcomes. Surgical candidates should be selected carefully. We describe the cases of two young active duty patients diagnosed with median arcuate ligament syndrome after suffering from chronic abdominal pain. Both were referred to our rheumatology department to evaluate for mesenteric vasculitis. Each had a different therapeutic outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-969
Number of pages3
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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