Superior mesenteric artery compression disorders

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 21 Jun 2021

There are two distinct vascular compression disorders due to compression of another structure by the superior mesenteric artery. The terminology is sometimes confusing and they can occur in association.  

  1. superior mesenteric artery syndrome (Wilkie syndrome): compression of the third part of the duodenum by the SMA
  2. nutcracker syndrome (renal vein entrapment syndrome): compression of the left renal vein by the SMA

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: nutcracker syndrome and hypertension
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  • Case 2 :SMA syndrome
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  • Case 3: SMA syndrome and nutcracker phenomenon
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