Endovascular treatment of spontaneous dissections of the superior mesenteric artery.J Vasc Surg. 2009 Dec; 50(6):1326-32.JV
Spontaneous dissection of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) is exceedingly rare. Treatment options range from observation to anticoagulation to open surgery or endovascular repair. We present our experience to date in the management of isolated SMA dissections.
A retrospective review of the vascular surgery and radiology databases from 1998 to 2008 was performed. In general, incidental radiologic findings of a dissection were managed expectantly. The decision to intervene was based on anatomic suitability, patient comorbidities and symptoms, and physician preference. Endovascular stents were placed using a brachial approach, with the choice of stent determined by physician preference. Patients who underwent endovascular stent placement (ESP) were maintained on antiplatelet therapy for 6 months postoperatively. Follow-up consisted of yearly office visits and adjunctive computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when clinically indicated.
CT or MRI imaging identified nine patients (7 men, 2 women) with an isolated SMA dissection. One patient also had a concomitant celiac artery dissection. Median age was 70 years (range, 46-73 years). Median follow-up time was 32 months (range, 13.8-62.5 months). Presentations included an incidental radiologic finding in three patients and acute onset abdominal pain in six. Treatment included expectant management in four patients, anticoagulation in two, and ESP in three. ESP was performed primarily in two patients and in a third patient after initial management with anticoagulation failed. The reduction in the diameter of the true lumen was significantly greater in patients treated with ESP vs patients who were successfully managed expectantly or with anticoagulation (F = 15.59, P < .005). No procedural complications were associated with ESP.
An isolated SMA dissection is a rare entity that may be managed successfully in a variety of ways based on clinical presentation. Endovascular stenting can be performed with good results and may be the preferred treatment in patients with symptomatic isolated SMA dissections.