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UC Davis Vascular Center

UC Davis Vascular Center

Appointments & Referrals

Monday-Friday:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Physician Referral Center
Specialty referrals
and phone consultations:
1-800-4-UCDAVIS
1-800-482-3284 (choose option #2)
Consumer Resource Center
1-800-2-UCDAVIS
1-800-282-3284
General information
Vascular Center:
916-734-3800

Visceral artery disease

Description

Visceral artery disease is the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the intestines, spleen and liver. The narrowing, caused by atherosclerosis, results in a reduction in blood-flow to these organs. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to the build-up of plaque, fatty deposits that adhere to the artery wall.

The most common presentation of visceral artery disease is chronic mesenteric ischemia, insufficient blood-flow to the intestines. It causes pain after eating and results in weight loss. It can also result in a fatal interruption of blood-flow to the intestines. Without proper flow, the intestines may begin to die and become gangrenous. This condition requires immediate diagnosis and emergency treatment. (See intestinal ischemic syndromes.)