If you have pain after eating that causes you to limit food and lose weight, your health care provider might suspect that you have chronic mesenteric ischemia. A narrowing of the major arteries to the small intestine can help confirm the diagnosis.

Tests might include:

  • Angiography. Your health care provider might recommend a CT scan, MRI or X-ray of your abdomen to find out if the arteries to your small intestine have narrowed. Adding a contrast dye can help pinpoint areas where the arteries have narrowed.
  • Doppler ultrasound. This noninvasive test uses sound waves to check blood flow, which can determine narrowing of the arteries.


If a blood clot causes a sudden loss of blood flow to the small intestine, you might require immediate surgery to treat your mesenteric ischemia.

Mesenteric ischemia that develops over time might be treated with angioplasty. Angioplasty is a procedure that uses a balloon to open the narrowed area. A mesh tube called a stent might be placed in the narrowed area.

Mesenteric ischemia also can be treated via open surgery through an incision.

Mesenteric ischemia care at Mayo Clinic

June 02, 2023
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