Superior mesenteric artery syndrome. Diagnostic criteria and therapeutic approaches

Am J Surg. 1984 Nov;148(5):630-2. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(84)90339-8.


The hospital records and radiographs of 44 patients diagnosed as having superior mesenteric artery syndrome were reviewed using strict clinical and radiographic criteria. Only six (14.6 percent) of the patients fulfilled these criteria, suggesting over-diagnosis of the disorder. An acute change in clinical status, such as an operation or complication of a medical disease, appeared to precipitate the superior mesenteric artery syndrome in these patients, all of whom had chronic debilitating diseases. In four of the six patients conservative therapy failed, and they required surgical decompression.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Duodenal Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Posture
  • Radiography
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / etiology
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / therapy