Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome

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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 between the ribs and pelvis. 

The median arcuate ligament usually passes above the beginning of the celiac artery. When it passes lower, it can compress the artery and cause median arcuate ligament syndrome.


You may have arcuate ligament syndrome if you experience: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA

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

  • Angiography
  • Computed tomography angiography

Surgery can relieve the compression and improve blood flow.


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.