Chronic mesenteric ischemia is a rare disorder that has traditionally been treated with open surgical revascularization (OR). Endovascular revascularization (ER) has recently gained popularity as an alternative modality of treatment; however, OR is still predominantly used. This study aimed at comparing the outcomes of these two treatment modalities. The literature was searched using the MEDLINE database through the PubMed search engine for relevant articles that compared the outcomes after OR and ER for chronic mesenteric ischemia. Review of the selected articles revealed that patients had lower postoperative mortality and morbidity, and shorter intensive care unit and hospital stay after ER. However, early and long-term symptomatic relief and significantly lower restenosis rate were characteristic of OR. Although no level 1 evidence governs the treatment of chronic mesenteric ischemia, the durability and efficacy of OR is such that this modality should remain the procedure of choice for patients who are fit or whose fitness could be improved before surgery. For unfit patients, or those with short life expectancy, ER is preferable owing to its minimally invasive nature and reduced postoperative mortality and morbidity. Randomized controlled studies are needed to compare the long-term durability and efficacy of ER to those of OR.
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