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Superior mesenteric arterial branch occlusion causing partial jejunal ischemia: a case report

Nele Van De Winkel1*, Avine Cheragwandi1, Koenraad Nieboer2, Franciscus van Tussenbroek2, Kristel De Vogelaere1 and Georges Delvaux1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Abdominal Surgery, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brusse, Brussels, Belgium

2 Department of Radiology, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brusse, Brussels, Belgium

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:48  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-48

Published: 6 February 2012



Ischemic bowel disease comprises both mesenteric ischemia and colonic ischemia. Mesenteric ischemia can be divided into acute and chronic ischemia. These are two separate entities, each with their specific clinical presentation and diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. However, diagnosis may be difficult due to the vague symptomatology and subtle signs.

Case presentation

We report the case of a 68-year-old Caucasian woman who presented with abdominal discomfort, anorexia, melena and fever. A physical examination revealed left lower quadrant tenderness and an irregular pulse. Computed tomography of her abdomen as well as computed tomography enterography, enteroscopy, angiography and small bowel enteroclysis demonstrated an ischemic jejunal segment caused by occlusion of a branch of the superior mesenteric artery. The ischemic segment was resected and an end-to-end anastomosis was performed. The diagnosis of segmental small bowel ischemia was confirmed by histopathological study.


Mesenteric ischemia is a pathology well-known by surgeons, gastroenterologists and radiologists. Acute and chronic mesenteric ischemia are two separate entities with their own specific clinical presentation, radiological signs and therapeutic modalities. We present the case of a patient with symptoms and signs of chronic mesenteric ischemia despite an acute etiology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report presenting a case of acute mesenteric ischemia with segmental superior mesenteric artery occlusion.