Society for Vascular Surgery| Volume 72, ISSUE 6, P849-863, December 1972

The celiac artery compression syndrome: Does it exist?

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      The contention, held by many, that association of an angiographically demonstrable stenosis of the celiac artery and a somewhat ill-defined set of clinical symptoms resembling intestinal angina constitutes a syndrome amenable to surgical correction is puzzling, since all fundamental physiologic and pathologic considerations would dictate that an isolated stenosis or even occlusion of the celiac artery should be semeiotically silent and clinically unimportant. Upon analyzing our clinical material during the last five-year period, we found no fully documented case of this syndrome. Of 157 celiac arteriograms performed both in search of cause for vague abdominal symptoms and in the study of suspected abdominal diseases, 49.7 percent of the patients showed some degree of stenosis of the celiac axis, with a considerable range of variations in anatomical detail. No correlation could be found between the existence of celiac arterial narrowing, degree of narrowing, and presence of collaterals on the one hand and such symptoms and signs as abdominal pain and weight loss on the other. The conclusion is that narrowing of the celiac artery is of such common occurrence as to be a normal anatomical variant; its association with symptoms at present has no proved significance in the pathophysiology of the alimentary tract.
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