THE BASIS of this paper is a study of 12 cases of massive infarction of the small intestine consequent to mesenteric thrombosis. The infarct of the bowel was caused in each case by a thrombus which occluded the vein draining the infarcted area. The condition appeared rather suddenly in persons who were otherwise known to be healthy. Of the 12 patients treated, only 2 survived extensive resection of the bowel; the other 10 died. Of the two surviving patients, one was a 79-year-old woman and the other a 54-year-old man.
We wish to state at the outset that the present study is concerned only with primary mesenteric thrombosis and intestinal infarction. This article is not concerned with infarctions resulting from mechanical strangulation of the bowel produced by volvulus, kinks, or hernia, or from embolic occlusion of the mesenteric vessels.
A review of the surgical literature bearing on the subject gives