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Superior mesenteric artery syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Arteriomesenteric duodenal compression syndrome
  • Cast syndrome
  • Vascular compression of the duodenum
  • Wilkie syndrome
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Superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMAS) is a digestive condition that occurs when part of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) is compressed between the aorta and the superior mesenteric artery. This compression causes partial or complete obstruction of the duodenum.[1] Signs and symptoms may include abdominal fullness; bloating after meals; nausea and vomiting; and abdominal cramping that may be helped by lying in certain positions. A variety of factors may contribute to SMAS, including prolonged bed rest, weight loss, rapid growth, previous abdominal surgery, lordosis, use of body casts, and loss of tone in abdominal muscles. It may also occur with pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, and other inflammatory conditions inside the abdomen.[2] Treatment may include treating the underlying cause, and small feedings or a liquid diet.[2][1]
Last updated: 3/26/2014


  1. Frederick Merrill Karrer. Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. Medscape Reference. September 4, 2012; Accessed 3/26/2014.
  2. Superior Mesenteric Artery (SMA) Syndrome. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. January 17, 2013; Accessed 3/26/2014.
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