Treatment guidelines for isolated dissection of the superior mesenteric artery based on follow-up CT findings

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2011 Jun;41(6):780-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2010.12.022. Epub 2011 Feb 18.


Objectives: The treatment guidelines for isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection (SMAD) are not well established. The purpose of this study was to report a single-centre series of SMAD and propose treatment guidelines.

Materials and methods: Between November 2004 and December 2009, 30 patients were diagnosed with SMAD. We retrospectively reviewed their medical records.

Results: The subjects included 26 men and four women, with a mean age of 55.1 years. The chief complaint was abdominal pain in 17 patients, whereas 13 patients were asymptomatic. The mean follow-up was 38.3 months. The radiographic findings included intimal flap with a false lumen in 20 patients and intramural haematoma in 10 patients. The treatments included observation in 18 patients, anticoagulation in five patients, stenting in six patients and surgery in one patient. During follow-up (mean 15.6 months), there was no change in the computed tomography scans of seven patients, improvement was observed in four patients and complete resolution was observed in four patients. All patients, including the symptomatic patients, remained asymptomatic during follow-up.

Conclusions: Most patients with SMAD can be successfully managed with conservative treatment. Surgical treatment or percutaneous intervention can be reserved for patients with severe mesenteric ischaemia and those for whom the initial conservative treatment fails.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aortic Dissection / complications
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Dissection / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants