Open and Endovascular Management of Acute Mesenteric Ischaemia: A Systematic Review

B. Murphy*, C. H. C. Dejong, D. C. Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background Acute mesenteric ischaemia (AMI) is a life-threatening surgical emergency resulting from thromboembolic occlusion of the mesenteric vasculature. Traditional management of AMI has been open revascularisation with or without bowel resection-a procedure which carries considerable morbidity and mortality in an already unwell, compromised patient. Endovascular and more minimally invasive management approaches to AMI have been reported. Proponents of endovascular management suggest this approach may be associated with reduced morbidity and mortality compared with open surgery.

Objectives To assess the impact of endovascular approach for AMI on mortality and need for subsequent laparotomy and/or bowel resection.

Data Source The search bodies PubMed and Medline were interrogated.

Eligibility Criteria, Participants and Interventions All studies in English with greater than 10 patients examining outcomes for patients undergoing endovascular intervention for acute mesenteric ischaemia were included. All patients over 18 years presenting with a diagnosis of acute mesenteric ischaemia secondary to an arterial thromboembolic source were included. Studies examining endovascular intervention alone or endovascular and open intervention were selected.

Results The 30-day mortality for endovascular approach from all 13 studies was 16-42%. Of the 7 comparative studies including results of open revascularisation, the 30-day mortality for patient treated with an endovascular approach was 15-39% versus 33-50% for open revascularisation. Laparotomy rates post-initial endovascular intervention ranged from 13 to 73%. Bowel resection post-endovascular therapy ranged from 14 to 40% among studies. Concerning 7 comparative studies for open versus endovascular revascularisation, the rate of bowel resection in the endovascular group ranged 14-28% and 33-63% in the open cohort. Endovascular intervention also demonstrated lower median length (s) of bowel resected.

Limitations Heterogeneity of studies and patient populations studied including selection bias.

Conclusions and implications of findings Endovascular management may be associated with reduced mortality and need for/length of bowel resection compared with the traditional open approach, but there remains a paucity of robust data to support this. The available literature illustrates that a subgroup of patients without haemodynamic compromise and more insidious onset may garner benefit from endovascular intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3224-3231
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019



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