Revascularization of the superior mesenteric artery alone for treatment of intestinal ischemia

Matthew I. Foley, Gregory L. Moneta, Ahmed M. Abou-Zamzam, James M. Edwards, Lloyd M. Taylor, Richard A. Yeager, John M. Porter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    147 Scopus citations


    Objective: Complete revascularization is recommended by many authors for treatment of intestinal ischemia. The observation that postprandial intestinal hyperemia is limited to the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) has suggested to us that SMA revascularization alone should be adequate treatment. We preferentially manage intestinal ischemia with a single bypass graft to the SMA and herein update our results using this approach. Methods: Patients were identified from a prospectively established vascular surgical registry. Each patient was assessed for acute versus chronic intestinal ischemia, preoperative angiographic findings, operation used, perioperative morbidity and mortality, late symptomatic relief, cause of death, and life table-determined survival and graft patency. Graft patency was determined by follow-up angiography or duplex scanning. Results: Fifty bypass grafts to the SMA alone were performed in 49 patients (31 women, 18 men; mean age, 62 years) for treatment of intestinal ischemia. In all patients additional splanchnic arteries were available for bypass grafting. Operative indications were acute symptoms in 21 patients, 14 of whom had bowel infarction; chronic symptoms in 26 patients; and prophylaxis in conjunction with infrarenal aortic surgery in 3 patients. Thirty-two grafts originated from the aorta or an iliac artery, and 18 originated from an aortic graft. There were 40 prosthetic and 10 autogenous conduits. Perioperative mortality was 3% in patients with chronic symptoms and 12% overall. All survivors were symptomatically improved. Mean follow-up was 44 months. Nine-year assisted primary graft patency was 79%, and 5-year patient survival was 61%. Two late deaths occurred in patients with recurrent intestinal ischemia resulting from graft occlusions. Conclusions: Bypass grafting to the SMA alone appears to be both an effective and durable procedure for treatment of intestinal ischemia. Our results appear equal to those reported for 'complete' revascularization for intestinal ischemia. When the SMA is a suitable recipient vessel, multiple bypass grafts to other splanchnic vessels are unnecessary in the treatment of intestinal ischemia.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)37-47
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of vascular surgery
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


    Dive into the research topics of 'Revascularization of the superior mesenteric artery alone for treatment of intestinal ischemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this