BACKGROUND: Despite reports of low mortality and high bowel-salvage rates in nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia (NOMI), our experience has been much less favorable. This study analyzes our experience with NOMI. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review (1979 to 1992) identified 113 patients with acute mesenteric ischemia, of whom 13 (12%) met our criteria for NOMI. RESULTS: Patients were grouped into early and late presenters. The 5 early presenters were women, younger (mean age [± SD] 50 ± 5.8 years.), with no risk factors, and had vague symptoms leading to a delay in diagnosis. The 7 late presenters were older (mean age [± SD] 63 ± 5.3 years), with identifiable risk factors; all had bowel infarction at the time of initial diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Vague symptoms and a wide range of patients at risk make early diagnosis of NOMI uncommon. In the absence of early diagnosis, bowel resection with its high morbidity and mortality remains the only applicable treatment option in the vast majority of patients.
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