What Is Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia?
Chronic mesenteric ischemia is a condition in which plaque builds up in the major arteries — including the celiac and superior mesenteric arteries — that supply blood to the small intestine or small bowel.
These blood clots in the small intestine and bowels can lead to:
- Weight loss
- Pain with eating
- Fear of food
Left untreated over time, blockages can decrease blood flow so much that the tissues in your intestines die.
Chronic mesenteric ischemia causes
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) causes chronic mesenteric ischemia.
Healthy arteries are flexible and smooth and allow blood to flow freely through them.
In atherosclerosis, fatty deposits and calcium can build up along the inner artery walls and form plaque. Over time, the buildup of plaque causes the arteries to narrow. This limits the amount of oxygen-rich blood that flows to the intestines.
Chronic mesenteric ischemia risk factors
Factors that increase your risk of chronic mesenteric ischemia include:
- Age, older than age 60
- High cholesterol levels
Why choose UPMC for chronic mesenteric ischemia care?
UPMC’s Vascular Surgery Division has access to the latest minimally invasive treatments for chronic mesenteric ischemia. We take a team based approach and tailor our treatment plan to your unique circumstances.
A leader in the treatment of chronic mesenteric ischemia, UPMC is actively engaged in research in an effort to improve outcomes for our complex vascular patients.
To make an appointment with a vascular surgeon at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, complete an appointment request form or call 1-855-876-2484 (UPMC-HVI).
Learn more about chronic mesenteric ischemia risk factors
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