Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Infarction, Intestinal

  • Maria SotiropoulouEmail author
Reference work entry


Dead bowel; Dead gut; Intestinal necrosis; Ischemic bowel


Intestinal infarction is damage or death of a part of the intestine due to reduction in the blood flow or decreased blood flow. There are several causes of infarction involving either arterial or venous impairment. Possible causes include hernia and adhesions from a previous surgery when the intestine becomes trapped in scar tissue. Arterial insufficiency is the most common cause of intestinal infarction and is divided in nonocclusive (central) and occlusive (peripheral) ischemia.

Nonocclusive ischemia represents up to 25% of acute mesenteric infarction and is characterized by low blood flow and insufficient oxygen supply to the tissue without arterial obstruction. Hypotension, cardiac failure, and shock of any etiology are the main causes. Hypotension in elderly patients who have atherosclerotic disease often causes nonocclusive stenosis of the major arteries.

In occlusive arterial insufficiency, there is...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Fenoglio-Preiser, C., Noffsinger, A., Stemmermann, G., et al. (2008). Gastrointestinal pathology. An atlas and text (3rd ed., pp. 327–340). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  2. Herbert, G. S., & Steele, S. R. (2007). Acute and chronic mesenteric ischemia. The Surgical Clinics of North America, 87(5), 1115–1134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Rosenblum, G. D., et al. (1997). The mesenteric circulation. Anatomy and physiology. The Surgical Clinics of North America, 77(2), 289–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Tendler, D. A. (2003). Acute intestinal ischemia and infarction. Seminars in Gastrointestinal Disease, 14(2), 66–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. West, B., & Mitchell, K. (2009). In R. Odze & J. Goldblum (Eds.), Vascular disorders of the GI tract. Surgical pathology of the GI tract, liver, biliary tract and pancreas (2nd ed., pp. 207–211). Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyAlexandra HospitalAthens, AtticaGreece