Treatment outcome in patients with acute superior mesenteric artery embolism.

Annals of vascular surgery

PubMedID: 23540675

Yun WS, Lee KK, Cho J, Kim HK, Huh S. Treatment outcome in patients with acute superior mesenteric artery embolism. Ann Vasc Surg. 2013;27(5):613-20.
The goals of this study were to investigate the treatment outcomes of acute mesenteric ischemia caused by superior mesenteric artery (SMA) embolism and identify the posttreatment prognostic factors.

The clinical data of 32 episodes of acute SMA embolism in 30 patients, including 2 recurrent cases, between April 2003 and March 2011 were retrospectively reviewed.

Median patient age was 74 years (range, 39-89 years), and 50% were male. Conservative treatment, including bowel rest, nasogastric drainage, intravenous fluid therapy, parenteral nutritional support, and anticoagulation therapy, was undertaken in 5 patients with no clinical evidence of bowel gangrene, including 1 with recurrent ischemia. No deaths occurred among patients treated conservatively. A total of 27 patients were treated with open surgical repair (25 embolectomies and 2 bowel resections alone). Among 25 patients treated with embolectomy, 14 required bowel resection. Most bowel resections (94%, 15/16) were limited, with the remaining length of small bowel greater than 150 cm, which could not cause short bowel syndrome. In-hospital mortality of surgery was 30%. No variables were associated with mortality after surgical intervention, including, age, gender, presence of bowel gangrene, and symptom duration. The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after initial successful treatment were 96%, 73%, and 44%, respectively, regardless of treatment type.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment before extensive irreversible gangrene is the mainstay in the treatment of SMA embolism. Limited bowel gangrene was not associated with mortality.