Intestinal (mesenteric) vasculopathy. I. Acute superior mesenteric arteriopathy and venopathy

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1998 Dec;27(4):783-825, vi. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8553(05)70033-9.


Intestinal vasculopathy is not rare, comprising about 1 per 1000 hospital admissions. Primary mesenteric vasculopathy causes cardiovascular disease, whereas secondary mesenteric ischemia causes extrinsic vascular compression or vascular trauma. Acute superior mesenteric arteriopathy is caused by a mesenteric embolus, thrombus, or vasospasm (i.e., nonocclusive vasculopathy). Acute superior mesenteric venopathy is caused by a thrombus, which is often associated with a hypercoagulopathy. The clinical presentation of both diseases is often subtle and nonspecific at an early stage and becomes overt and specific only when advanced and severe, when ischemia progresses to necrosis. The mortality of acute superior mesenteric arteriopathy is still very high, whereas superior mesenteric venopathy is less rapidly progressive and has a lower, but still significant, mortality. Early diagnosis and aggressive therapy significantly reduces the mortality of these life-threatening diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intestines / blood supply*
  • Ischemia*
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior
  • Mesenteric Vascular Occlusion*
  • Mesenteric Veins
  • Vascular Diseases*