ANEURYSMS of the mesenteric arteries are uncommon, and those so far reported in the literature have been large aneurysms involving major mesenteric trunks.1,2 To our knowledge, aneurysms of mesenteric branches have not been described previously.
We have recently encountered five mesenteric artery branch aneurysms. Four were discovered at selective superior or inferior mesenteric angiography, one in a patient with rectal bleeding. A fifth was discovered at surgery to be the cause of a mesenteric hematoma and intestinal infarction.
Patients ranged in age from 39 to 75 years. Plain films did not indicate calcification of the aneurysm in any case. In three patients, asymptomatic aneurysms were incidentally discovered at the time of mesenteric angiography for unrelated conditions. These aneurysms were 3.5 to 11 mm in diameter (Fig 1 to 3). Two arose from jejunal branches and a third from an ileal artery. A 4-mm jejunal aneurysm was excised; histologic