Mesenteric Ischemia: A Deadly Miss

Manpreet Singh, Brit Long, Alex Koyfman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mesenteric ischemia has 4 etiologies: arterial embolus, arterial thrombosis, venous thrombosis, and nonocclusive. No history or physical examination finding can definitively diagnose the condition. A wide variety of presentations occur. Pain out of proportion and gut emptying may occur early, with minimal tenderness. Once transmural infarction occurs, peritoneal findings and tenderness to palpation may occur. Physicians must be suspicious of pain out of proportion and scrutinize risk factors. Computed tomography angiography is the best imaging modality. Treatment requires surgery and interventional radiology consultation, intravenous antibiotics and fluids, and anticoagulation. The physician at the bedside is the best diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-888
Number of pages10
JournalEmergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Acute arterial emboli
  • Acute arterial thrombosis
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Mesenteric venous thrombosis
  • Nonocclusive
  • Pain out of proportion
  • Time is bowel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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