Isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection in China

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This study investigated the status of isolated superior mesenteric artery (SMA) dissection in the most populous country, China.


The Chinese-language literature published before December 2014 was reviewed. All case reports and series were included. If multiple reports originated from the same hospital and included overlapping time frames, only the most recent report was included. The clinical characteristics, imaging features, and treatment were analyzed. “Symptom relief” was used as the outcome measure.


A total of 622 patients (88.5% male) with isolated SMA dissection were found in the Chinese-language literature. Patients were a mean age of 55.4 years. Analysis of the demographic data showed that isolated SMA dissection was most reported from the developed areas of China. The most common symptom (91.1%) was abdominal pain, and 42.7% patients had hypertension as a complication. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography was used to diagnose 95.2% of patients. The mean distance from the SMA ostium to the beginning of the dissection was 20.1 mm (range, 0–65.0 mm). The mean length of dissection was 63.1 mm (range, 10.7–205.9 mm). The percentages of patients who underwent primary conservative, surgical, and endovascular treatments were 63.2%, 3.2% and 33.6%, respectively. As primary management, the symptom relief rate of conservative management, with or without anticoagulation, was 62.6% and 86.5%, respectively. The best result of conservative treatment was achieved in cases of Yun type I and Luan classification type B. The symptom relief rate of surgical and endovascular treatment was 100% and 95.2%, respectively.


The incidence of isolated SMA dissection may not be as rare as previously reported. Endovascular treatment of isolated SMA dissection is commonly used in China as a first-line treatment.

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