Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Acute occlusive mesenteric ischemia in high altitude of southwestern region of Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Hematology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mubarak M Al-Shraim
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, P.O. Box-640
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.91007

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Background and Objectives : Mesenteric ischemia which can be acute or chronic depending on the rapidity of compromised blood flow produces bowel ischemia, infarction, bacterial transmigration, endotoxemia, multisystem organ failure and death. High altitude can precipitate thrombosis because of hypobaric hypoxia and its effect on coagulation system. The objectives of this study are to determine the risk factors, clinical presentation, type and pattern of acute occlusive mesenteric ischemia in high-altitude of southwestern region of Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the records of all the patients with acute occlusive mesenteric ischemia admitted to the Armed Forces Hospital, southern region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the period of 2005 to 2010, and compiled data including demographics, clinical presentation, risk factors, preoperative investigations, management, histopathological examination, and complications. The cases of mesenteric ischemia resulting from conditions such as volvulus and strangulated hernias were excluded. Results: Our study included 21 patients, 10 (48%) men and 11 (52%) women with a mean age of 56 years (SD 14). Abdominal pain was the most common presenting symptoms. CT angiography depicted occlusive arterial disease in 8 patients (38%) and venous thrombosis in 13 patients (62%). Diabetes mellitus was the most frequent risk factor for arterial mesenteric ischemia. Chronic liver disease particularly liver cirrhosis was the most prominent risk factor for venous mesenteric thrombosis. Intestinal ischemia was confirmed by histopathological examination. Conclusion: Acute occlusive mesenteric ischemia can mimic other more common intra-abdominal diseases clinically; therefore a high index of suspicion is required particularly for patients with relevant risk factors to prompt early diagnosis and intervention. Venous mesenteric thrombosis was more common than arterial mesenteric ischemia in our region.

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