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Br J Surg. 2004 Jan;91(1):17-27.

Systematic review of survival after acute mesenteric ischaemia according to disease aetiology.

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Department of Surgery and Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Differentiation of acute mesenteric ischaemia on the basis of aetiology is of great importance because of variation in disease progression, response to treatment and outcome. The aim of this study was to analyse the published data on survival following acute mesenteric ischaemia over the past four decades in relation to disease aetiology and mode of treatment.


A systematic review of the available literature from 1966 to 2002 was performed.


Quantitative analysis of data derived from 45 observational studies containing 3692 patients with acute mesenteric ischaemia showed that the prognosis after acute mesenteric venous thrombosis is better than that following acute arterial mesenteric ischaemia; the prognosis after mesenteric arterial embolism is better than that after arterial thrombosis or non-occlusive ischaemia; the mortality rate following surgical treatment of arterial embolism and venous thrombosis (54.1 and 32.1 per cent respectively) is less than that after surgery for arterial thrombosis and non-occlusive ischaemia (77.4 and 72.7 per cent respectively); and the overall survival after acute mesenteric ischaemia has improved over the past four decades.


There are large differences in prognosis after acute mesenteric ischaemia depending on aetiology. Surgical treatment of arterial embolism has improved outcome whereas the mortality rate following surgery for arterial thrombosis and non-occlusive ischaemia remains poor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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