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October 31, 1966

Reversible Mesenteric Artery Stenoses Due to Methysergide Maleate

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and the Division of Surgery, Presbyterian—St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago.

JAMA. 1966;198(5):558-560. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110180102033

COMPLICATIONS of methysergide maleate therapy for headache have been found to be numerous in both unexplained symptomatology and in a demonstrable form of fibrosis, with its effect on the various structures passing through the involved areas.1-4 The fibrotic complications have been found by most authors to be a result of, or at least accompanied by, a profound arteritis.1 Much of the unexplained symptomatology has been attributed to unproven vascular spasm because of the known vasoconstrictive properties of methysergide and the prompt relief of symptoms and observable diminution of circulatory deficiencies (particularly in the extremities) upon withdrawal of the drug.5-7 The sequence of early arteritis with spasm progressing to irreversible arteritis and regional fibrosis is intriguing, but unproven. That vascular spasm may play a continuing role in late stages of the process is suspected by the usual improvement and frequent recovery from even advanced fibrotic processes if the