• We report here an experience with five patients, aged 58 to 70, suffering gangrene of the left colon after spontaneous inferior mesenteric artery occlusion. All cases were the result of arteriosclerosis; in two, small aortic aneurysms were present and might have been responsible for emboli to the inferior mesenteric artery. The dead bowel was resected in all patients; three patients survived. No primary anastomoses were done and they are not recommended. Because ligation of the patent inferior mesenteric artery has been done so often without ill effects during aortic surgery, the collateral circulation to the left colon can be considered excellent. Gangrene is therefore rare and requires major interference with collateral circulation by emboli or arteriosclerotic occlusion. The clinical symptoms and signs may be confusing.
(Arch Surg 111:972-975, 1976)