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Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome

Median arcuate ligament syndrome is compression of the celiac artery — an artery that originates from your aorta just below the diaphragm — by the median arcuate ligament, a part of the diaphragm that connects the diaphragm with the vertebrae in the lumbar region between the ribs and pelvis. Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome

condition

Definition

Median arcuate ligament syndrome is compression of the celiac artery — an artery that originates from your aorta just below the diaphragm — by the median arcuate ligament, a part of the diaphragm that connects the diaphragm with the vertebrae in the lumbar region between the ribs and pelvis.

Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome

Causes

The median arcuate ligament usually passes above the beginning of the celiac artery; when it passes lower, it can compress the artery.

Risk

There are no known risk factors for median arcuate ligament syndrome.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
diagnosis

Diagnosis

  • Angiography: A dye is inserted into the celiac artery through a catheter, then an X-ray is taken to show how blood flows through the arteries and whether the arteries are narrowed or blocked.
  • Computed Tomography Angiography: X-ray slices of the artery are taken to determine if there are any areas with poor blood flow or narrow arteries. To do this, the patient is injected with a dye that helps make blood vessels visible on the scan.
treatment

Treatment

Surgery can be performed to relieve the compression, improving blood flow.

Free Vascular Lecture

Learn how to manage your risk for common vascular conditions like heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and varicose veins.

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Just because you don't have symptoms of vascular disease doesn't mean you aren't at risk. We offer screenings every week at Northridge Medical Park.

Eligible patients include:

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  • Age 50 or older with cardiovascular risk factors
  • Adults 45 years or older and an abnormal finding would prompt modification of your lifestyle or medical care
  • Family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm 

Insurance doesn't cover screenings if you aren't experiencing symptoms. The out-of-pocket cost is $99 for all tests.

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