Mesenteric Artery Ischemia

Mesenteric artery ischemia (MAI) is a condition that affects the three main arteries that supply blood to your intestines.

In MAI, the mesenteric arteries are narrowed or blocked, decreasing the amount of blood that is supplying the digestive tract restricts the blood flow to your intestines.

This causes the intestines to not receive enough oxygen which can be life-threatening and cause serious health issues, such as cell death and permanent damage.

Types of Mesenteric Artery Ischemia

There are two types of mesenteric artery ischemia: acute and chronic.

The acute form appears suddenly and has severe symptoms, while the chronic type has a gradual onset.

In most cases, the acute type is caused by blood clots and the chronic type is caused by atherosclerosis.

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal tenderness and pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, bloody stools.
  • Bloating or a sense of fullness.
  • During an acute case of MAI, you may have a sudden urge to have a bowel movement.
  • With chronic ischemia, you may have stomach pain after eating.

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