The mesenteric arteries supply blood to the small and large intestines; when these narrow or are blocked, blood flow is restricted and can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Two types exist:

  • Acute mesenteric artery ischemia is an emergency. Surgery is usually performed to remove the clot. In some cases, the surgeon must also create a bypass around the blockage.
  • Chronic mesenteric artery ischemia is treated by removing the blockage and reconnecting the arteries to the aorta. A bypass around the blockage can be created with a plastic tube graft.

Mesenteric artery ischemia is often seen in conjunction with hardened arteries in other parts of the body (for example, those with coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease). The condition is more common in smokers and in patients with high blood pressure or blood cholesterol.

Please note: The skilled cardiologists at MedStar Harbor Hospital can diagnose and treat most heart conditions on site. Patients who need advanced diagnostic testing or heart surgery will be referred to MedStar Heart Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, part of our MedStar family of providers, as appropriate.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 855-546-0830.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Gruehn Bldg. Suite 216
Baltimore, MD 21225