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Result of Atherosclerosis

Mesenteric artery disease is caused by a narrowing or blockage of one or more of your three mesenteric arteries. Such blockages are the result of atherosclerosis, a buildup of fats and cholesterol known as plaque in the arteries. Acute cases of mesenteric artery disease may be caused by a blood clot that breaks away from the heart, travels through one of the mesenteric arteries and blocks blood flow.

Other Causes

Other conditions that may lead to mesenteric ischemia include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Aortic dissection (a tear in the aorta's inner layer)
  • Coagulation disorders or rare disorders of the blood vessels such as fibromuscular dysplasia and arteritis
  • Blockage of veins in the bowel

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215