Imaging Evaluation of Mesenteric Ischemia: Is There a Golden Period for This Entity?
Mesenteric venous thrombus. Axial portal venous phase contrast-enhanced images (a, b) showing a partial thrombus in the portal vein (arrow - a) and complete thrombosis of the superior mesenteric artery (arrow - b). Axial contrast-enhanced CT image at a lower level showing a thickened but normally enhancing bowel. This patient was managed conservatively with anticoagulants and improved. N - normal bowel, A - the superior mesenteric artery.
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Computed Tomography Angiography
Mesenteric Ischemia
Non-Occlusive Mesenteric Ischemia

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Zargar, I., Robanni, I., Shah, O., Gojwari, T., Rasool, R., Choh, N., Shera, F., & Wani, M. (2022). Imaging Evaluation of Mesenteric Ischemia: Is There a Golden Period for This Entity?. Galician Medical Journal, 29(1), E202212.


Background.The study was aimed at assessing the role of ultrasonography and multidetector computed tomography angiography in evaluating patients with suspected mesenteric ischemia, as well as assessing the effect of the time from presentation to management on mortality and morbidity.

Materials and Methods. Patients with clinically suspected mesenteric ischemia underwent Doppler ultrasound and contrast-enhanced computed tomography. On ultrasonography, we assessed any filling defect in the superior mesenteric artery/vein, narrowing or occlusion of the proximal superior mesenteric artery, ascites, bowel wall thickening, and pneumatosis/portal venous gas. Computed tomography angiography was performed looking for any filling defect in the superior mesenteric artery/vein, superior mesenteric artery/vein calibre, bowel wall thickening, calibre and enhancement and pneumatosis/portal vein gas. Most of our patients underwent emergency surgery and the findings correlated with imaging. All the patients were divided into Group A (n=30) and Group B (n=17) based on the time from presentation to management: within 48 hours of presentation and 48 hours after presentation, respectively.

Results. On computed tomography scan, mesenteric vascular involvement was seen in 27 (55%) patients, mesenteric/intestinal twist was observed in 12 (25%) patients, and non-occlusive mesenteric ischemia was found in 6% of patients. The computed tomography findings were found to have a sensitivity of 86%, a specificity of 94% and an accuracy of 90% in cases of mesenteric ischemia. Among 35 patients operated on, those presenting within 48 hours, had a significantly less mortality (63%) in comparison to those presenting after 48 hours (90%).

Conclusions. Clinical, laboratory and ultrasound features are non-specific in diagnosing mesenteric ischemia. Computed tomography angiography is a sine qua non in mesenteric ischemia diagnosis. Patients with venous ischemia respond well to conservative management. Early intervention within the first 48 hours is associated with better prognosis.
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