Multidetector CT features of mesenteric vein thrombosis.
Mesenteric vein thrombosis (MVT) accounts for 5%-15% of all mesenteric ischemic events and is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary MVT is idiopathic, whereas secondary MVT can result from a variety of underlying diseases and risk factors, including primary hypercoagulable states or prothrombotic disorders, myeloproliferative neoplasms, cancer (most frequently of the pancreas or liver), diverse inflammatory conditions, recent surgery, portal hypertension, and miscellaneous causes such as oral contraceptives or pregnancy. Clinical symptoms of MVT are rather nonspecific and are mainly characterized by abdominal pain. The mortality rate for MVT remains high, since even now the diagnosis is often delayed. Multidetector computed tomography (CT) is the modality of choice in this context. Although venous bowel ischemia occurs only infrequently with MVT, radiologists should be familiar with its multidetector CT features. Familiarity with the possible causes of MVT, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms associated with MVT, and the correlation between multidetector CT features and these pathogenic mechanisms is necessary to optimize medical management and improve patient care.