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September 1994

Isolated Bypass to the Superior Mesenteric Artery for Intestinal Ischemia

Arch Surg. 1994;129(9):926-932. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1994.01420330040009

Objective:  A number of reports indicate revascularization for intestinal ischemia should include the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and the celiac artery. However, no controlled or randomized studies have proven this approach superior to SMA bypass alone. We report our results using bypass to only the SMA for intestinal ischemia.

Design:  Retrospective review with mean follow-up of 40 months (range, 2 to 110 months).

Setting:  University medical center and Veterans Affairs hospital.

Patients/Methods:  The records of patients who underwent intestinal revascularization of the SMA alone from 1982 through 1993 were reviewed. Patients were assessed for indication for operation, operative technique, perioperative mortality, and long-term outcome. The SMA grafts were examined for patency within the last 6 months using duplex scanning or arteriography. Patient survival and graft patency rates were calculated using life-table methods.

Results:  Twenty-nine bypasses to only the SMA were performed in 26 patients (16 female and 10 male; mean age, 59 years; age range, 13 to 81 years). Indication for operation was symptomatic chronic mesenteric ischemia in 23 cases and acute intestinal ischemia in five cases. One bypass was performed for asymptomatic SMA occlusion. There were three perioperative deaths (10% mortality rate), all in patients with acute intestinal ischemia and previous mesenteric arterial surgery. Life-table 4-year primary graft patency and patient survival rates were 89% and 82%, respectively. Symptomatic improvement was maintained in all patients available for follow-up.

Conclusion:  Revascularization of only the SMA for intestinal ischemia provides excellent graft patency with acceptable perioperative mortality and long-term patient survival. The SMA bypass alone for intestinal ischemia appears as successful as bypasses to multiple visceral vessels.(Arch Surg. 1994;129:926-932)