What Is Mesenteric Artery Ischemia?

Mesenteric Artery Ischemia affects the blood vessels within the small intestine. It obstructs the arteries and disturbs the flow of blood, causing mild to severe abdominal pain.

It is a fairly rare condition, accounting for about .09% to .2% of all hospital admissions in the U.S. Because its symptoms can be similar to other conditions, it is important to seek a proper diagnosis from a vascular specialist.

Symptoms Of Mesenteric Artery Ischemia

Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of mesenteric artery ischemia. Although you could have periodic abdominal pain over the course of many months, sudden-onset abdominal pain often sends patients in search of emergency care.

Typical symptoms of mesenteric artery ischemia include:

  • Sudden, intense abdominal pain
  • Periodic abdominal pain that comes and goes
  • Abdominal pain during and after eating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Bloody stool
  • Abdominal tenderness and swelling
  • Weight loss 
  • Fear of eating
Mesenteric Artery Ischemia diagram - Maryland Vascular Specialists

Image courtesy of vascular.org