Mesenteric Arterial Disease

Mesenteric arterial disease occurs when there is a narrowing or blockage in any of the three mesenteric arteries that carry blood to the large and small intestines. If left untreated, the disease can cause abdominal pain after eating and progressive weight loss. If the blood flow to the intestines becomes severely blocked, the intestines can die.

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA

At UVA, we can diagnose you by using these tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Angiography

Your healthcare provider can work with you to choose an appropriate treatment. 

Angioplasty or Minimally Invasive Stenting

At UVA, we've performed angioplasty and stenting procedures for more than 25 years. During angioplasty, your doctor inserts a needle into the artery and passes a wire through the needle and into the blocked artery. This is done without surgery.

Surgical Bypass or Removal of the Blockage

You may need surgery if the blockage is too severe to relieve with a balloon or stent. Surgery can remove the blockage or place a graft (a vein from elsewhere in the body or plastic) to bypass the blockage.

Blood Clot Removal

Medication may dissolve a blood clot. A mechanical device can also be used to surgically remove the clot.

Combination Therapy

We can treat you with a combination of angioplasty, stenting and surgery.


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.