Overview

Mesenteric ischemia (mez-un-TER-ik is-KEE-me-uh) occurs when narrowed or blocked arteries restrict blood flow to your small intestine. Decreased blood flow can permanently damage the small intestine.

Sudden loss of blood flow to the small intestine (acute mesenteric ischemia) from a blood clot requires immediate surgery. Mesenteric ischemia that develops over time (chronic) is treated with angioplasty or open surgery.

Untreated, chronic mesenteric ischemia can become acute or lead to severe weight loss and malnutrition.