Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mesenteric Ischemia Underlying Cause

Ischemic bowel disease is caused by decreased blood flow through the arteries that supply blood to the intestines.

The arteries become narrowed by a process known as atherosclerosis, which is also called hardening of the arteries.

The process of atherosclerosis includes:

  • The inner wall of the artery becomes damaged by changes in blood flow, infection, smoking, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
  • As the wall or the artery attempts to repair itself, cholesterol builds up on the inside surface of the artery, forming a plaque.
  • Plaques narrow the inside of the arteries, which reduces blood flow.

Continue to Mesenteric Ischemia Types

Last Updated: May 21, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mesenteric Ischemia References
  1. Greenwald DA, Brandt LJ, Reinus JF. Ischemic bowel disease in the elderly. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2001 Jun;30(2):445-73. [11432300]
  2. Hansen KJ, Wilson DB, Craven TE, Pearce JD, English WP, Edwards MS, Ayerdi J, Burke GL. Mesenteric artery disease in the elderly. J Vasc Surg. 2004 Jul;40(1):45-52. [15218461]
  3. Leo PJ, Simonian HG. The role of serum phosphate level and acute ischemic bowel disease. Am J Emerg Med. 1996 Jul;14(4):377-9. [8768159]
  4. Schoots IG, Levi MM, Reekers JA, Lameris JS, van Gulik TM. Thrombolytic therapy for acute superior mesenteric artery occlusion. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2005 Mar;16(3):317-29. [15758127]
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