Overview

What Is Mesenteric Artery Disease?

The mesenteric arteries are blood vessels that carry blood to the intestines. Mesenteric artery disease occurs when blood flow to one of the arteries to the intestines is blocked.

Mesenteric artery disease can either be chronic or acute. Chronic disease means the condition is ongoing, happening over a long period of time. Acute disease means the symptoms start suddenly and become serious very quickly.

Chronic mesenteric artery disease may be caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Plaque made of fat, cholesterol and calcium builds up in an artery over time, reducing blood flow to the intestines. Atherosclerosis can also cause an aneurysm—a weakened, bulging part of the artery that can rupture and cause internal bleeding.

Acute mesenteric artery disease may be caused by a blood clot blocking one of the mesenteric arteries. Blood clots usually come from the heart, and are more common in people with irregular heartbeat.

Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).



Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:



Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:



Related Resources

  • Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by plaque buildup.
  • Mesenteric Ischemia: Learn the cause and risk factors for mesenteric ischemia, which is decreased or blocked blood flow to the intestines.