Duplex ultrasonography accurately identifies high-grade stenoses in the SMA. Analysis of velocity data reveals few false positives and virtually no false negatives in the determination of high-grade SMA stenosis by duplex scanning. We therefore utilize duplex scanning to perform early screening studies of patients with symptoms suggestive of chronic visceral ischemia. If the duplex findings are negative, we recommend evaluating for other sources of abdominal pain. If the findings are positive, prompt angiography is indicated. It is important to remember that although duplex scanning can identify mesenteric artery stenosis, it cannot diagnose intestinal ischemia. By establishing duplex scanning as a useful and accessible noninvasive screening tool, it is hoped that the time between onset of visceral ischemic symptoms and diagnosis of chronic visceral ischemia will be shortened significantly, potentially reducing the morbidity and mortality of the disease.
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