Objective: Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is an often overlooked, surgically correctable condition that mimics functional chronic abdominal pain. Patient-reported surgical outcomes are unpredictable in MALS. The objective of this study was to define the psychiatric comorbidities in a cohort of adults undergoing surgery for MALS and to determine whether these comorbidities are predictive of patient-reported quality of life (QOL) outcomes.
Methods: A prospective observational trial was conducted between April 1, 2010, and December 31, 2015, at a single tertiary care hospital. Adults with a diagnosis of chronic abdominal pain in the setting of celiac artery compression were enrolled in a prospective Institutional Review Board-approved observational trial. Patients completed psychological assessments before surgery for MALS and at 6 months after surgery. The primary outcome was patient-reported health-related QOL (young adult version of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory).
Results: A total of 51 patients (80% female; n = 41) with a mean age of 30.5 (±12.4) years were enrolled. Surgery significantly improved celiac artery hemodynamics in the entire cohort (P < .0001) as well as overall QOL (67.8 ± 14.6 [before surgery] vs 80.3 ± 13.7 [after surgery]; P < .001). Psychiatric diagnoses were common in this cohort, with 14 of 51 (28%) patients meeting criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis. There were no differences in the number of patients with psychiatric diagnoses between presurgical and postsurgical evaluations (14 [28%] vs 13 [26%]; P = .8). Exploratory analyses suggest that having a psychiatric diagnosis at the presurgical evaluation may predict significantly lower postsurgical QOL (R2 = 0.009; P = .01).
Conclusions: Surgery improves patient-reported QOL in adults treated for MALS. Psychiatric diagnoses are common in adults with MALS and predict worse patient-reported QOL outcomes.
Keywords: Celiac artery; Celiac artery compression; Chronic abdominal pain; Median arcuate ligament syndrome; Mesenteric ischemia; Patient-reported outcomes; Psychological comorbidities; Quality of life.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.