Background. Abdominal pain attributed to compression of the celiac artery at the level of the median arcuate ligament (MAL) of the diaphragm is an uncommon disorder. Although ultrasound investigation and arteriography can be suggestive of the diagnosis, no definitive criteria exist with only cases reports in the literature. This study presents the only known reported case series in which a combination of open and laparoscopic access techniques of MAL decompression are reported. Methods. A retrospective review of prospectively collected electronic databases of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was performed for the period February 1999 until February 2009. Patients having undergone operation for celiac artery compression syndrome were identified and participated in a telephone interview. Questions were asked about the success of the operation, the recovery period, and patient satisfaction. Results. Six patients were identified, 3 were male; mean age was 37.7 years. Four underwent open MAL division and celiac ganglion neurolysis, and 2 underwent a laparoscopic approach. Mean follow-up was 48.6 months. All patients experienced symptomatic improvement and were satisfied with their outcome. No patient had symptoms recurrence. Conclusion. In this limited experience, MAL division with celiac ganglion neurolysis appears to be an effective treatment for celiac artery compression syndrome in appropriately selected patients. Both the open and laparoscopic approaches are safe with durable midterm follow-up results.
- abdominal pain
- celiac artery
- median arcuate ligament syndrome