Chronic atherosclerotic mesenteric ischemia (CMI)

Thomas Zeller, Aljoscha Rastan, Sebastian Sixt
Vascular Medicine 2010, 15 (4): 333-8
Chronic mesenteric ischemia (CMI) is most likely caused by atherosclerosis and less frequently by external compression and vasculitis. Symptomatic CMI is an uncommon, potentially under-diagnosed condition caused by fixed stenoses or occlusion of, in most conditions, at least two visceral arteries. If only one of the three major bowel-providing arteries - the celiac trunk, and the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries - is affected, the patient is usually asymptomatic due to a tight collateral network. The only exception is the celiac artery compression syndrome which represents primarily a compression syndrome of celiac plexus nerves by the arcuate ligament in conjunction with a compression of the celiac trunk. CMI of atherosclerotic origin is associated with a high morbidity and mortality. During the last decade, endovascular revascularization has replaced surgical revascularization as the therapy of choice in most centers. This article reviews the most relevant clinical aspects of the disease and the current practice of diagnosis and treatment of CMI.

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