Nonocclusive intestinal ischemia in patients with acute aortic dissection

Eugenio Neri, Carlo Sassi, Massimo Massetti, Franco Roviello, Pierpaolo Giomarelli, Federico Bizzarri, Sabino Scolletta, Carlo Setacci

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

18 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In aortic dissection, visceral complications that result from aortic branch compromise have been described extensively, whereas intestinal ischemia not associated with the false lumen anatomy has rarely been discussed. The aim of this report is to identify clinical factors that may contribute to the development of this form of acute mesenteric ischemia, to profile the patients at greatest risk, and to review diagnostic and treatment methods that emerged from our experience. METHODS: With a computerized database, we identified 371 patients who underwent treatment in our institution with a diagnosis of aortic dissection between July 15, 1985, and January 10, 2001. Mesenteric ischemia was present in 73 patients (19%). In 36 patients (9%), bowel ischemia was not associated with a false lumen anatomy or an extension of the dissection process. From a general analysis of the determinants of mesenteric ischemia in aortic dissection, we investigated, with univariate and multivariate analysis, the specific characteristics of these patients with nonocclusive ischemia. A retrospective analysis of the oxygen metabolic profile of patients who underwent operation also was performed. RESULTS: The mortality rate in patients with nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia was 86%; sepsis and multiple organ failure were the causes of death in all nonsurvivors. Surgical treatment was beneficial only in the early phases of the disease. The results of the multivariate analysis showed the multifactorial origin of nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia; cerebral ischemia, thrombosis of the false lumen, severe coagulation disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, aortic calcinosis, prolonged hypotension, chronic renal insufficiency, and low cardiac output were independent predictors of the condition. In patients who underwent operation, the significant risk factors were severe coagulation disorders, postoperative cerebral ischemia, maximal oxygen extraction rate of more than 0.40, aortic calcinosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, thrombosis of the false lumen, inotropic support, and chronic renal insufficiency. An oxygen extraction rate of more than 0.4 at 6 hours after operation was found to be an index of intestinal damage sufficient to initiate an evaluation for visceral ischemia. Significant differences with occlusive ischemia also were evidenced with this study. CONCLUSION: In aortic dissection, nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia shows some unique clinical and individual predisposing factors. Most instrumental investigations are of poor diagnostic value, and prognosis is poor, especially when mesenteric gangrene had already taken place. Prevention can be exercised only with a heightening of our awareness of this condition and with timely correction of metabolic disturbances. In suspected cases, an aggressive surgical attitude may represent the only means for reducing mortality.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)738-745
Numero di pagine8
RivistaJournal of Vascular Surgery
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2002


  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting
  • Aortic Diseases
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases
  • Intestines
  • Ischemia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


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