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Unusual presentation of superior mesenteric artery syndrome after trauma

Abstract

Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome is a rare but severe condition. SMA syndrome’s association with trauma has been reported to present weeks to months after significant weight loss due to head or spinal cord injury. We present an unusual case of SMA syndrome presenting with obstructive symptoms, which developed immediately after clavicle fracture and was not associated with weight loss. CT of the abdomen showed small bowel obstruction in the third part of the duodenum. CT angiogram of the abdomen confirmed SMA syndrome. The patient was managed conservatively with enteral nutrition via jejunostomy tube. He was discharged after symptoms resolved, and repeat imaging revealed resolution of obstruction. This case emphasises the importance of having SMA syndrome as one of the differential diagnoses for patients presenting with obstructive symptoms after trauma because early diagnosis can be managed with conservative treatment.

  • stomach and duodenum
  • gastroenterology
  • trauma

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