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Visceral Artery Disease
Visceral artery disease refers to the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the intestines, spleen and liver.Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to plaque and fatty deposits building-up on the artery wall, and causes the narrowing of the arteries. Sometimes these arteries develop aneurysms.
Visceral Artery Disease Symptoms
Mesenteric ischemia is a condition in which one or more of your mesenteric arteries narrows or becomes blocked. It is the most common condition caused by visceral artery disease. It causes severe abdominal pain after eating and results in weight loss. It can also result in a fatal interruption of blood-flow to the intestines. Without proper flow, the intestines may begin to die and become gangrenous. This condition requires immediate diagnosis and emergency treatment. Mesenteric ischemia usually involves the small intestine.
Visceral Artery Disease Tests
After reviewing your medical history and physical exam, your doctor may perform additional tests to evaluate your bowel and circulation, such as:
An angiogram (also called an arteriogram) is a test in which your surgeon injects a dye through a catheter to the blocked artery and then views it with live x-rays.
Doppler Ultrasound Test
In an ultrasound test, the sonographer or doctor uses sound waves to show problems with the structure of blood vessels. It also identifies specific arteries that are blocked. It is a time-consuming test, and its accuracy may be limited by gas in the bowel.
Magnetic Resonance Angiogram
A MRA scan creates detailed three-dimensional images of your blood vessels from magnetic images of your body.
Computed Tomography (CT)
Using x-rays, a CT scan creates detailed 3D images of your body.
Visceral Artery Disease Treatments
To treat mesenteric ischemia, the blocked artery is re-opened to allow adequate blood flow to reach your intestine. This can be done through a series of procedures: