Isolated celiac artery dissection

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Spontaneous celiac artery dissection is rare, and its natural history is not well studied. The objective of this study was to review our experience with the evaluation and management of this condition.


During the last 8 years, 19 patients (14 men, five women) presented with the diagnosis of spontaneous celiac artery dissection. Each patient's clinical course was retrospectively reviewed, and patients were contacted for assessment of current symptoms.


All patients had computed tomography scans documenting a celiac artery dissection without concomitant aortic dissection. Ages ranged from 39 to 76 years. Seven patients presented with abdominal pain, and 12 were diagnosed incidentally. All patients were initially treated with observation because none had threatened end organs. Patients presenting with aspirin or clopidogrel therapy were continued on these medications, but no patients were prescribed any medications due to their dissection. Three patients continued to have abdominal pain and eventually underwent celiac artery stenting. Pain improved after the intervention in all three. One patient with aneurysmal degeneration of the celiac artery underwent surgical repair. No other patients required intervention. Eighteen patients had follow-up within a year of data collection in the clinic or over the phone. The average time from the initial diagnosis to follow-up for the entire cohort was 46 months. None had abdominal or back pain related to the celiac dissection, had lost weight, or had to change their eating habits.


Celiac artery dissection can be safely managed initially with observation. If abdominal pain is persistent, endovascular stenting may stabilize or improve the pain, and surgical reconstruction can be done for aneurysmal degeneration or occlusion, both unusual events. Long-term anticoagulation does not appear necessary in these patients.

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