ZocdocAnswersIs 70% blockage of the superior mesenteric artery dangerous?

Question

Is 70% blockage of the superior mesenteric artery dangerous?

I need to know if 70% or more is acute, substantial, and dangerous regarding the superior Mesenteric artery? Symptoms of vomiting, hypertension, & abdominal pain after eating, the vascular sergeant is trying to release my mom and I need to know if this seems right?

Answer

It is important to discuss this with a vascular surgeon. Generally speaking, a blockage of 70% in the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) is fairly significant and may or may not be symptomatic in most people. Usually blockages of greater than 80% are symptomatic and blockages less than 50% are not. The range in between is when there is some variability. The symptoms of significant ischemic bowel disease is abdominal pain that occurs shortly after eating. This is due to the fact that when the bowel has food inside, there is a greater amount of work it needs to do and therefore requires an increase in the amount of blood flow from the arteries that serve it. The SMA is one of the major arteries. The blockage likely is not significant enough to cause symptoms when fasting, but after a meal the blood requirements of the gut are high enough that the blockage becomes significant. It sounds like this is what might be happening to your mother. There are a variety of ways to treat this including a bypass procedure or sometimes with an intravascular stent. The procedure is not always an emergency so sometimes patients are allowed to go home so they can return to the hospital at a later date. Again, the best type of physician for your mother to see about this is a vascular surgeon.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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