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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2013 May;45(5):502-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2013.01.039. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

Initial and middle-term results of treatment for symptomatic spontaneous isolated dissection of superior mesenteric artery.

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  • 1Department of Interventional Radiography, The Second Hospital of Changzhou Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Province 213003, China.



Spontaneous isolated dissection of the superior mesenteric artery (SIDSMA) is extremely rare. Various treatment options are currently available, including conservative treatment, endovascular stenting (ES) and surgical repair. Herein, we present our experience in the treatment of symptomatic SIDSMA.


A retrospective study was conducted on 17 consecutive patients with symptomatic SIDSMA from May 2002 to May 2012. Conservative treatment consisted of strict blood-pressure control, bowel rest, nasogastric suction, intravenous fluid therapy and nutritional support as required; fasting was released on resolution of abdominal pain, and fluid food was given first; then, diet was resumed after complete resolution of abdominal pain. The decision to intervene was based on patient symptoms and signs, as well as the morphological characteristics of SMA dissection on computed tomography (CT) angiography. Self-expandable stents were placed via the common femoral artery approach. ES was indicated in patients with severe compression of the true lumen or dissecting aneurysm likely to rupture.


All patients had acute-onset abdominal pain. Treatment included conservative treatment with the use of anticoagulation in five and without in nine patients, respectively. Three patients with severe compression of the true lumen or large dissecting aneurysm underwent ES as a primary treatment. ES was performed in two patients in whom initial conservative treatment failed. Patients who underwent ES were maintained on anti-platelet therapy for 3 months postoperatively. The median follow-up time was 24 months (range, 2-72 months). No complications were associated with the SIDSMA or ES. The patency of stents was demonstrated on follow-up CT scans up to 8.5 months (range, 4-38 months).


Conservative treatment without anticoagulation can be applied successfully to the patients with symptomatic SIDSMA. Our strategy of restricting ES for these patients who have compression of the true lumen or dissecting aneurysm likely to rupture (and for those with failed conservative treatment) was successful.

Copyright © 2013 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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