Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Diagnosis of mesenteric ischemia begins with a description of your current symptoms, a medical history, physical exam and blood tests. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. You may also need an evaluation by a gastroenterologist.

As part of the diagnosis, doctors who specialize in the interpretation of medical images (radiologists) may perform tests to rule out other conditions and evaluate blood flow, including:

  • Doppler ultrasound. High-frequency sound waves help your doctor see images of your blood vessels.
  • CT scan/CT angiography. A CT scan uses X-rays to create detailed images of your arteries and of some organs. A CT angiogram (CTA) is a noninvasive way for doctors to see the details of your blood vessels, including narrowing and blockages.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Magnetic fields and radio waves produce detailed images of your blood vessels.
  • Mesenteric angiogram. A mesenteric angiogram is the standard test for evaluating blood flow and finding the blockage in the blood vessel. In this test, your doctor guides a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through the artery and inserts a dye to make the artery visible on an X-ray. Sometimes the doctor can treat the blocked arteries with a balloon angioplasty or stent during the angiogram.
May 09, 2015