Introduction. Isolated superior mesenteric artery (SMA) dissection, without associated aortic dissection, is relatively uncommon. Therefore, there are insufficient data to support a particular therapeutic option in the specific setting of isolated SMA dissection associated with thrombotic complications.
Case report. In this article we describe the diagnosis and treatment of a patient who presented to the Emergency Department with the clinical picture of an acute abdomen and signs suggestive of acute occlusion of the SMA. Diagnostic studies showed an isolated SMA dissection with acute thrombotic occlusion of its main branches. The patient was successfully treated with systemic recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) thrombolysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of a case of isolated SMA dissection associated with thrombotic occlusion of its main branches.
Conclusion. In patients presenting with persistent abdominal pain and unspecific clinical findings, rare causes should be considered because of their life threatening complications. Systemic thrombolysis is a feasible technique for the treatment of isolated SMA dissection associated with thrombotic complications in the absence of bowel necrosis.
Keywords: acute intestinal ischemia, superior mesenteric artery, dissection, thrombosis, systemic lysis, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA)