The mesenteric arteries take blood from the aorta and distribute it to a large portion of the gastrointestinal tract.

Poor blood flow within your digestive tract leaves cells without enough oxygen, which causes the cells to weaken and die. If damage is severe enough, infection, gangrene and eventually a hole (perforation) in the wall of the intestines can occur.

Narrowing (stenosis) of these arteries can cause

  • Postprandial pain (abdominal pain shortly after eating)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain

Risk Factors for mesenteric artery disease include:

  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol

Length of exam: 60-90 minutes
Preparation: Do not eat, drink, or smoke for 8 hours prior to the exam.  Avoid caffeine and tobacco products prior to exam.

Images of a Mesenteric Examination