Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Mesenteric Artery Disease

Chronic and acute mesenteric artery disease disrupt blood flow to the intestines. It may occur from causes that include:

  • Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a chronic condition in which deposits of plaque, made of fat, cholesterol and calcium, build up inside an artery over time.
  • Blood clot: Blood clot, or embolus, that can lodge in one of the mesenteric arteries and cause sudden onset of symptoms.

Risk factors

Your physician can help you learn how to reduce and manage your risk factors, which include:

  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Tear in the aorta


Meet the Mesenteric Artery Disease Team

Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized cardiovascular care.