Appointments

800.659.7822

Request an Appointment

Questions

800.659.7822

Contact us with Questions

Expand Content

Visceral Ischemic Syndrome

Ischemia means lack of blood supply. Visceral ischemic syndromes - also called intestinal or mesenteric ischemic syndromes - occur when blood flow to the bowel or gastrointestinal system (intestines) is decreased because of a blood vessel blockage.

The three major abdominal blood vessels that may become blocked include the celiac artery, superior mesenteric artery or inferior mesenteric artery. Usually two or three of these arteries must be narrowed or blocked to cause intestinal ischemic syndromes.

In most cases, ischemic syndromes are caused by atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty matter and plaque on the blood vessel walls), leading to narrowing or blockage of the vessel. The conditions also can be caused by blood clots or aneurysms (an abnormal enlargement or bulging) in the vessels.

Acute mesenteric ischemia is a life-threatening condition. In contrast, chronic mesenteric ischemia is characteristically associated with abdominal pain after meals. The onset of pain is usually gradual and progressive. Eventually, this situation results in substantial weight loss and a marked alteration in dietary intake.

What are the treatment options for visceral ischemic syndrome?

Several nonsurgical and surgical treatment options are available for visceral ischemic syndrome. The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Your health care provider will recommend the treatment option that is right for you. Before choosing any visceral ischemic syndrome treatment, it is important to discuss the potential benefits, risks and side effects with your health care provider. You will receive specific guidelines to help you prepare for your procedure, as well as specific instructions to help your recovery.

RelatedLinks_dept_treats_disease

HealthHub from Cleveland Clinic

Read the Latest from Our Experts About » cctopics » Heart & Vascular Health
Born with a Heart Defect? Your Life Span Can Be Normal
5/26/15 8:44 a.m.
Babies born today with heart defects are more likely than ever to live into adulthood. According to recent studies in Finland and Norway, more children treated for simple d...
by Heart & Vascular Team
How Walking During Long Runs Can Improve Your Fitness
5/22/15 11:30 a.m.
A recent study found that periodically walking during long runs doesn’t cost you any benefits to your heart hea...
How Nurses Keep You Safe During Your Hospital Stay
5/20/15 8:33 a.m.
During your hospitalization, your nurse is the primary member of your caregiver team who will monitor your safe...
Are You Eating Good Fats or Bad Fats? (Infographic)
5/19/15 8:00 a.m.
For years, we’ve heard that saturated fat is bad for our hearts and that unsaturated fat is good. But exp...
Can You Prevent Narrowing of Your Aortic Valve? (Video)
5/18/15 8:20 a.m.
We’ve suspected for some time that high cholesterol is one of the risk factors for developing aortic sten...