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Intestinal Ischemia

Intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage occurs when perfusion fails to meet the demands of the intestines, resulting in ischemic tissue injury that can be life-threatening if bowel necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage and/or perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis occurs. Symptoms can range from mild indigestion or diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea to severe abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen. Imaging techniques including CT and angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery are used to detect stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) or occlusion. The chronic form of intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage benefits from medical therapies and revascularization Revascularization Thromboangiitis Obliterans (Buerger’s Disease) procedures (stents, bypass surgery) while acute forms require urgent interventions to restore blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and remove any dead bowel tissue. Delay in the diagnosis and management of acute intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage results in high mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status and severe complications, including intestinal perforation Intestinal perforation Perforated viscus or GI perforation represents a condition in which the integrity of the GI wall is lost with subsequent leakage of enteric contents into the peritoneal cavity, resulting in peritonitis. The causes of perforated viscus include trauma, bowel ischemia, infections, or ulcerative conditions, all of which ultimately lead to a full-thickness disruption of the intestinal wall. Perforated Viscus and sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock.

Last updated: 27 May, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage is a decrease in blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure to the intestines resulting in hypoperfusion that may lead to bowel infarction. Mucosal sloughing occurs after approximately 3 hours of ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage, and necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage occurs after approximately 6–12 hours of ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage.

Types of intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage

  • Ischemic colitis Ischemic colitis Inflammation of the colon due to colonic ischemia resulting from alterations in systemic circulation or local vasculature. Large Bowel Obstruction ( ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage of colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy): hypoperfusion of the large bowel
  • Acute mesenteric ischemia Acute Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia: acute loss of blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure to the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy
  • Chronic mesenteric ischemia Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia: constant or episodic hypoperfusion of the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy

Epidemiology

For all types, intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage primarily affects adults > 60 years of age.

  • Ischemic colitis Ischemic colitis Inflammation of the colon due to colonic ischemia resulting from alterations in systemic circulation or local vasculature. Large Bowel Obstruction: most common type of intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage (approximately 60%–70%) 
  • Acute mesenteric ischemia Acute Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia (AMI):
    • In addition to older adults, may also occur in younger people with:
      • Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation ( Afib Afib Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation
      • Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States states
    • Mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status rates:
  • Chronic mesenteric ischemia Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia: ↓ incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency 

Acute Mesenteric Ischemia and Ischemic Colitis

Etiology

Whether in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy or small intestines, acute bowel ischemia Bowel ischemia Mesenteric ischemia is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by inadequate blood flow through the mesenteric vessels, which results in ischemia and necrosis of the intestinal wall. Mesenteric ischemia can be either acute or chronic. Mesenteric Ischemia is the result of reduced blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure. Causes include:

Vessel obstruction due to:

  • Acute arterial embolism (approximately 50%):
    • Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation
    • Valvular heart disease (i.e., infective endocarditis Endocarditis Endocarditis is an inflammatory disease involving the inner lining (endometrium) of the heart, most commonly affecting the cardiac valves. Both infectious and noninfectious etiologies lead to vegetations on the valve leaflets. Patients may present with nonspecific symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Endocarditis)
    • Cholesterol Cholesterol The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils. Cholesterol Metabolism embolism from ruptured arterial plaques
    • Air embolism Air embolism Blocking of a blood vessel by air bubbles that enter the circulatory system, usually after trauma; surgical procedures, or changes in atmospheric pressure. Nonthrombotic Embolism (can occur in neurosurgeries)
  • Arterial thrombosis Arterial Thrombosis Hypercoagulable States (15%–25%) :
    • Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a common form of arterial disease in which lipid deposition forms a plaque in the blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis is an incurable disease, for which there are clearly defined risk factors that often can be reduced through a change in lifestyle and behavior of the patient. Atherosclerosis
    • Arteritis
    • Aortic aneurysm Aortic aneurysm An abnormal balloon- or sac-like dilatation in the wall of aorta. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms or dissection
  • Venous thrombosis Venous thrombosis The formation or presence of a blood clot (thrombus) within a vein. Budd-Chiari Syndrome in mesenteric vessels (approximately 5%, rarely involves the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy); risk factors include:
    • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
    • Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States states/ thrombophilias Thrombophilias Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease/ inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation
    • Estrogen therapy Estrogen therapy The use of hormonal agents with estrogen-like activity in postmenopausal or other estrogen-deficient women to alleviate effects of hormone deficiency, such as vasomotor symptoms, dyspareunia, and progressive development of osteoporosis. This may also include the use of progestational agents in combination therapy. Menopause (e.g., oral contraceptive Oral contraceptive Compounds, usually hormonal, taken orally in order to block ovulation and prevent the occurrence of pregnancy. The hormones are generally estrogen or progesterone or both. Benign Liver Tumors pills)
  • Vessel compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma due to tumors or adhesions

Nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric ischemia is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by inadequate blood flow through the mesenteric vessels, which results in ischemia and necrosis of the intestinal wall. Mesenteric ischemia can be either acute or chronic. Mesenteric Ischemia (20%–30%) may be due to: 

  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension/ shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock
  • Hypovolemia Hypovolemia Sepsis in Children from acute blood loss
  • Vessel laceration Laceration Torn, ragged, mangled wounds. Blunt Chest Trauma with abdominal trauma
  • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
  • Excessive vasoconstriction Vasoconstriction The physiological narrowing of blood vessels by contraction of the vascular smooth muscle. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure, which may be due to:
    • Congestive heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
    • Vasculitis Vasculitis Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the arteries; veins; and rest of the vasculature system in the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
    • Vasopressor Vasopressor Acute Cholangitis drugs
    • Cocaine Cocaine An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. Local Anesthetics abuse

Pathophysiology

  • Mechanisms:
    • Hypoperfusion → intestinal hypoxia Hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Ischemic Cell Damage → bowel wall damage/ inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation 
    • May progress to infarction and necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage within 6–12 hours
    • Venous obstruction may lead to volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus (twisting of bowel) or incarceration Incarceration Inguinal Canal: Anatomy and Hernias, leading to hypoperfusion.
  • Commonly involved sites in AMI:
    • Superior mesenteric artery Superior mesenteric artery A large vessel supplying the whole length of the small intestine except the superior part of the duodenum. It also supplies the cecum and the ascending part of the colon and about half the transverse part of the colon. It arises from the anterior surface of the aorta below the celiac artery at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Small Intestine: Anatomy (SMA)
      • 90% of cases
      • Supplies: the distal duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy, jejunum Jejunum The middle portion of the small intestine, between duodenum and ileum. It represents about 2/5 of the remaining portion of the small intestine below duodenum. Small Intestine: Anatomy, ileum Ileum The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine. Small Intestine: Anatomy, and colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy to the splenic flexure Splenic flexure Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Superior mesenteric vein: drains blood from the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Inferior mesenteric artery Inferior mesenteric artery The artery supplying nearly all the left half of the transverse colon, the whole of the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the greater part of the rectum. It is smaller than the superior mesenteric artery and arises from the aorta above its bifurcation into the common iliac arteries. Small Intestine: Anatomy (IMA) (uncommon)
    • Celiac artery (uncommon)
  • Involved sites in ischemic colitis Ischemic colitis Inflammation of the colon due to colonic ischemia resulting from alterations in systemic circulation or local vasculature. Large Bowel Obstruction: tends to occur in watershed areas Watershed areas The regions have dual blood supply, but are located at the most distal reaches of the arteries. Ischemic Cell Damage of the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy with limited collateral circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment
Watershed areas of the colon

Watershed areas Watershed areas The regions have dual blood supply, but are located at the most distal reaches of the arteries. Ischemic Cell Damage of the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy

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Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor

  • Abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen:
  • Other common findings:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics or vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, which may be bloody in later stages, indicating infarction
    • Abdominal distention Abdominal distention Megacolon
    • Hypoactive or absent bowel sounds
  • If necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage and/or perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis present:
    • Peritoneal signs: acute rigid abdomen with guarding and rebound tenderness Rebound Tenderness Acute Abdomen 
    • Septic shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock: fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, signs of end-organ damage
  • Venous thrombosis Venous thrombosis The formation or presence of a blood clot (thrombus) within a vein. Budd-Chiari Syndrome: more gradual onset of symptoms

Diagnosis

Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with evidence of bowel infarction on exam should have an emergent surgical consultation. If the patient is stable enough, imaging should be performed.

  • CT angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery (1st line): detects disruption of blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and vascular stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS); findings may include:
  • MR MR Calculated as the ratio of the total number of people who die due to all causes over a specific time period to the total number of people in the selected population. Measures of Health Status angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery
  • Conventional mesenteric angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery may be performed if the diagnosis is unclear:
    • Pros: can treat and diagnose concomitantly; the traditional “gold standard”
    • Cons CoNS Staphylococcus: invasive, requires IV dye, not always available
  • Laboratory findings may include:
    • ↑ Lactate
    • Metabolic acidosis Metabolic acidosis The renal system is responsible for eliminating the daily load of non-volatile acids, which is approximately 70 millimoles per day. Metabolic acidosis occurs when there is an increase in the levels of new non-volatile acids (e.g., lactic acid), renal loss of HCO3-, or ingestion of toxic alcohols. Metabolic Acidosis 
    • Amylase Amylase A group of amylolytic enzymes that cleave starch, glycogen, and related alpha-1, 4-glucans. Digestion and Absorption and phosphate Phosphate Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid. Electrolytes levels
    • CBC: leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus, possible anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types (especially in ischemic colitis Ischemic colitis Inflammation of the colon due to colonic ischemia resulting from alterations in systemic circulation or local vasculature. Large Bowel Obstruction)
  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG): to look for dysrhythmias (e.g., atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation), which may have led to an embolic event
  • Colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening:
    • May be helpful in diagnosing ischemic colitis Ischemic colitis Inflammation of the colon due to colonic ischemia resulting from alterations in systemic circulation or local vasculature. Large Bowel Obstruction
    • Findings may include:
      • Mucosal pallor or cyanosis Cyanosis A bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes due to an increase in the amount of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood or a structural defect in the hemoglobin molecule. Pulmonary Examination
      • Petechiae Petechiae Primary Skin Lesions, hemorrhage

Management

  • Goals: 
    • Restore blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure
    • Decrease vasospasm
    • Decrease clot propagation Propagation Propagation refers to how the electrical signal spreads to every myocyte in the heart. Cardiac Physiology
  • Resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome and stabilization:
    • Oxygen therapy: intubate if necessary
    • IV fluids IV fluids Intravenous fluids are one of the most common interventions administered in medicine to approximate physiologic bodily fluids. Intravenous fluids are divided into 2 categories: crystalloid and colloid solutions. Intravenous fluids have a wide variety of indications, including intravascular volume expansion, electrolyte manipulation, and maintenance fluids. Intravenous Fluids
    • Transfuse blood products as needed
    • Avoid vasoconstricting agents, if possible.
    • Nasogastric tube Nasogastric tube Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries and bowel rest
    • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control
  • Broad-spectrum Broad-Spectrum Fluoroquinolones IV antibiotics: 
    • Ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins
    • Ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin A broad-spectrum antimicrobial carboxyfluoroquinoline. Fluoroquinolones plus metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
  • Anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs:
    • May be used if a clot is present and in the absence of active bleeding
    • Typically a heparin infusion
  • Surgery/procedures:
    • Surgical revascularization Revascularization Thromboangiitis Obliterans (Buerger’s Disease): embolectomy, vascular bypass, angioplasty Angioplasty Reconstruction or repair of a blood vessel, which includes the widening of a pathological narrowing of an artery or vein by the removal of atheromatous plaque material and/or the endothelial lining as well, or by dilatation (balloon angioplasty) to compress an atheroma. Except for endarterectomy, usually these procedures are performed via catheterization as minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Cardiac Surgery, and/or stenting 
    • Resection of necrotic and/or perforated bowel
    • Mesenteric angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery, which may include infusions of:
      • Vasodilators Vasodilators Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels. Thromboangiitis Obliterans (Buerger’s Disease) (e.g., papaverine) to relieve occlusion and vasospasm
      • Thrombolytics Thrombolytics Thrombolytics, also known as fibrinolytics, include recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (TPa) (i.e., alteplase, reteplase, and tenecteplase), urokinase, and streptokinase. The agents promote the breakdown of a blood clot by converting plasminogen to plasmin, which then degrades fibrin. Thrombolytics to dissolve clots
  • Long-term preventive measures to reduce future clot formation: 
    • Anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs therapy in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation
    • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases cessation
    • Optimize management of conditions that increase cardiovascular risk (e.g., hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus mellitus).
    • Thrombophilia Thrombophilia A disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis. Hypercoagulable States workup in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus, with appropriate treatment based on findings (typically long-term anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs)

Complications

  • Reperfusion injury Reperfusion injury Adverse functional, metabolic, or structural changes in ischemic tissues resulting from the restoration of blood flow to the tissue (reperfusion), including swelling; hemorrhage; necrosis; and damage from free radicals. The most common instance is myocardial reperfusion injury. Ischemic Cell Damage
    • Can occur following restoration of blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure after a period of ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
    • Complex mechanism involving the release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of toxic by-products of ischemic injury and neutrophil activation Neutrophil activation The process in which the neutrophil is stimulated by diverse substances, resulting in degranulation and/or generation of reactive oxygen products, and culminating in the destruction of invading pathogens. The stimulatory substances, including opsonized particles, immune complexes, and chemotactic factors, bind to specific cell-surface receptors on the neutrophil. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis
    • May lead to multisystem organ failure
  • Perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis:
    • Necrotic areas of bowel may perforate, spilling contents into the abdominal cavity.
    • High mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status rate

Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia

Etiology

Chronic mesenteric ischemia Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia results from chronic vascular disease, which can be caused by:

  • Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a common form of arterial disease in which lipid deposition forms a plaque in the blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis is an incurable disease, for which there are clearly defined risk factors that often can be reduced through a change in lifestyle and behavior of the patient. Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases
  • ↑ LDL
  • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus mellitus

Pathophysiology

  • Progressive atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a common form of arterial disease in which lipid deposition forms a plaque in the blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis is an incurable disease, for which there are clearly defined risk factors that often can be reduced through a change in lifestyle and behavior of the patient. Atherosclerosis of ≥ 2 main arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology → mismatch between the blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and intestinal metabolic demand (especially after a meal)
    • Leads to postprandial pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Main arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology include SMA, IMA, and celiac artery
    • When only 1 main artery is affected, collateral connections between the arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology can form and compensate for the ↓ flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure.
  • Sudden thrombus formation in addition to stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) can lead to acute-on- chronic mesenteric ischemia Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia.

Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor

  • Crampy, postprandial, epigastric pain Epigastric pain Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear): starts within the 1st hour after eating and resolves within the next 2 hours
  • Food aversion and weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery
  • Other symptoms can include nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, early satiety Early Satiety Bariatric Surgery, and diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea.
  • Physical exam may reveal abdominal bruit Abdominal Bruit Abdominal Examination.
  • May be asymptomatic, owing to the collateral blood supply

Diagnosis

  • Clinical suspicion based on history and physical exam
  • CT angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery (gold standard) or Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) ultrasonography is used to identify atherosclerotic vascular disease and rule out other abdominal disorders.
Ct angiogram showing stenosis of the superior mesenteric artery

Chronic mesenteric ischemia Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia: CT angiogram CT angiogram A non-invasive method that uses a ct scanner for capturing images of blood vessels and tissues. A contrast material is injected, which helps produce detailed images that aid in diagnosing vascular diseases. Pulmonary Function Tests showing stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) of the superior mesenteric artery Superior mesenteric artery A large vessel supplying the whole length of the small intestine except the superior part of the duodenum. It also supplies the cecum and the ascending part of the colon and about half the transverse part of the colon. It arises from the anterior surface of the aorta below the celiac artery at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Small Intestine: Anatomy

Image: “Figure 1” by Spangler et al AL Amyloidosis. License: CC BY 4.0

Management

  • Risk reduction:
    • Quit smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases
    • Healthy lifestyle habits
    • Manage chronic conditions (e.g., hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus)
  • Nutritional support
  • Surgical revascularization Revascularization Thromboangiitis Obliterans (Buerger’s Disease):
    • Endovascular techniques (e.g., angioplasty Angioplasty Reconstruction or repair of a blood vessel, which includes the widening of a pathological narrowing of an artery or vein by the removal of atheromatous plaque material and/or the endothelial lining as well, or by dilatation (balloon angioplasty) to compress an atheroma. Except for endarterectomy, usually these procedures are performed via catheterization as minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Cardiac Surgery or stenting): 1st line for symptomatic patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
    • Open surgery (e.g., vascular bypass or endarterectomy)
  • Consider anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs therapy.

Differential Diagnosis

Since intestinal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage typically presents with abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, the differential diagnosis includes:

  • Appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis: acute inflammation Acute Inflammation Inflammation of the appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. Symptoms are periumbilical pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways that migrates to the RLQ, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, anorexia Anorexia The lack or loss of appetite accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder anorexia nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, but appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis can often cause constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation, as well. The diagnosis is clinical, but CT imaging is used in cases of uncertainty. The standard management is appendectomy Appendectomy Appendectomy is an invasive surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the vermiform appendix through either an open or a laparoscopic approach. The most common indication is acute appendicitis. Appendectomy, though there can be a role for antibiotics in some cases.
  • Bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis: interruption of the flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure of the intraluminal contents through the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy. Typically, bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis presents with nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, distention, constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation, and/or obstipation Obstipation Large Bowel Obstruction. The diagnosis is established via imaging. Most cases will resolve with supportive management (bowel rest, IV hydration Iv Hydration Crush Syndrome, and nasogastric decompression). However, surgery is required for persistent or complicated cases.
  • Diverticulitis Diverticulitis Inflammation of a diverticulum or diverticula. Diverticular Disease: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of diverticula (protrusions of the bowel wall, often in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy). Diverticulitis Diverticulitis Inflammation of a diverticulum or diverticula. Diverticular Disease often presents with lower abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen and changes in bowel habits. The condition may be further complicated by abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis, fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula, and bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis. Management consists of antibiotics, fluid resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and bowel rest. Surgery is required for complications.
  • Acute pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis: inflammatory disease of the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy usually due to gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis and/or excessive alcohol use. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship typically present with epigastric pain Epigastric pain Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) radiating to the back. Diagnosis includes serum lipase Lipase An enzyme of the hydrolase class that catalyzes the reaction of triacylglycerol and water to yield diacylglycerol and a fatty acid anion. It is produced by glands on the tongue and by the pancreas and initiates the digestion of dietary fats. Malabsorption and Maldigestion 3 times the upper limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation of normal or characteristic radiographic findings. Management includes aggressive IV hydration Iv Hydration Crush Syndrome, analgesia Analgesia Methods of pain relief that may be used with or in place of analgesics. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts, nutritional support, and treatment of the underlying cause.
  • Chronic pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis: persistent inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans, and irreversible cell damage to the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy. The most common etiologies of chronic pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis are alcohol abuse and pancreatic duct obstruction. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with recurrent epigastric abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, and features of malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion syndrome. CT findings include pancreatic atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation, dilated pancreatic ducts, and pancreatic calcifications. Therapy focuses on alcohol cessation, diet changes, pain management Pain Management Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Pain is a subjective experience. Acute pain lasts < 3 months and typically has a specific, identifiable cause. Pain Management, and treatment of pancreatic insufficiency.
  • Cholecystitis Cholecystitis Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder (GB) usually caused by the obstruction of the cystic duct (acute cholecystitis). Mechanical irritation by gallstones can also produce chronic GB inflammation. Cholecystitis is one of the most common complications of cholelithiasis but inflammation without gallstones can occur in a minority of patients. Cholecystitis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy usually caused by the obstruction of the cystic duct Cystic duct The duct that is connected to the gallbladder and allows the emptying of bile into the common bile duct. Cholecystitis ( acute cholecystitis Acute cholecystitis Acute inflammation of the gallbladder wall. It is characterized by the presence of abdominal pain; fever; and leukocytosis. Gallstone obstruction of the cystic duct is present in approximately 90% of the cases. Cholecystitis). The acute type of cholecystitis Cholecystitis Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder (GB) usually caused by the obstruction of the cystic duct (acute cholecystitis). Mechanical irritation by gallstones can also produce chronic GB inflammation. Cholecystitis is one of the most common complications of cholelithiasis but inflammation without gallstones can occur in a minority of patients. Cholecystitis usually presents with RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus. The diagnosis is made clinically and confirmed with ultrasonography. The definitive management is cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy.
  • Acute coronary syndrome (ACS): clot formation obstructing blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure to the coronary arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology. Symptoms include chest pressure and shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea. Management includes medications, such as blood thinners, thrombolytics Thrombolytics Thrombolytics, also known as fibrinolytics, include recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (TPa) (i.e., alteplase, reteplase, and tenecteplase), urokinase, and streptokinase. The agents promote the breakdown of a blood clot by converting plasminogen to plasmin, which then degrades fibrin. Thrombolytics, and/or beta blockers. Depending on the severity, heart catheterization and balloon angioplasty Angioplasty Reconstruction or repair of a blood vessel, which includes the widening of a pathological narrowing of an artery or vein by the removal of atheromatous plaque material and/or the endothelial lining as well, or by dilatation (balloon angioplasty) to compress an atheroma. Except for endarterectomy, usually these procedures are performed via catheterization as minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Cardiac Surgery may be required. 
  • Aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection: may also present with sudden onset of severe epigastric pain Epigastric pain Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear). The pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways associated with aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection is typically sharp tearing chest pain Tearing Chest Pain Chest Pain that radiates to the back. Other features, such as asymmetrical blood pressure, and pulse deficit in 1 arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy can help differentiate aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection from acute mesenteric ischemia Acute Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia, though it is also possible for an aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection to cause a nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric ischemia is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by inadequate blood flow through the mesenteric vessels, which results in ischemia and necrosis of the intestinal wall. Mesenteric ischemia can be either acute or chronic. Mesenteric Ischemia.
  • Ectopic pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care: implantation Implantation Endometrial implantation of embryo, mammalian at the blastocyst stage. Fertilization and First Week of a fertilized egg outside the uterine cavity, often in the fallopian tubes Fallopian tubes The uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes are part of the internal female reproductive system. The fallopian tubes receive an ovum after ovulation and help move it and/or a fertilized embryo toward the uterus via ciliated cells lining the tubes and peristaltic movements of its smooth muscle. Uterus, Cervix, and Fallopian Tubes: Anatomy. Growth of the fetus may lead to abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen and/or vaginal bleeding. Ectopic pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care can be diagnosed by ultrasonography and laboratory analysis of quantitative hCG levels over time. Management of nonruptured EPs can be expectant, medical, or surgical. Ruptured ectopic pregnancies are surgical emergencies.

References

  1. Tendler, D., Lamont, T. (2020). Overview of intestinal ischemia in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-intestinal-ischemia-in-adults
  2. Khan, A. (2016). Ischemic colitis imaging. Emedicine. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/366808-overview
  3. Dang, C. (2020). Acute mesenteric ischemia. Emedicine. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/189146-overview
  4. Alrayes, A. (2019). Chronic mesenteric ischemia. UpToDate. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-intestinal-ischemia-in-adults
  5. Hundscheid, I.H., Grootjans, J., Lenaerts, K., et al. (2015). The human colon is more resistant to ischemia-reperfusion-induced tissue damage than the small intestine: an observational study. Ann Surg 262:304–311. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25915914/
  6. Greenwald, D.A., Brandt, L.J. (1998). Colonic ischemia. J Clin Gastroenterol 27:122–128. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9754772/
  7. Cappell, M.S. (1998). Intestinal (mesenteric) vasculopathy. I. Acute superior mesenteric arteriopathy and venopathy. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 27:783–825. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9890114/

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