GANGRENE of the small bowel and ascending colon commonly follows occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery. Such intestinal necrosis is preventable by early arterial reconstructive surgery, but diagnosis of mesenteric occlusion is notoriously difficult. Most occlusions are due to thrombosis of the vessel and are inherently unfavorable, but a significant number are caused by emboli and can be cured by embolectomy.
The following case illustrates several features of acute mesenteric artery occlusion by embolus and indicates an alternative method of restoring arterial patency.
Report of a Case
A 55-year-old white housewife was admitted to the Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital on March 21, 1963, two hours following a sudden onset of severe midepigastric cramping pain accompanied by nausea and diarrhea.She was known to have rheumatic heart disease with auricular fibrillation and had recovered well from a right hemiparesis two years previously.There was a striking lack of abnormal physical findings