The key difference between ischemic colitis and mesenteric ischemia is that, in ischemic colitis, it is the colon that becomes ischemic, but in mesenteric ischemia, the small bowel wall becomes ischemic.
The lack of blood supply to tissues gives rise to ischemia. Therefore, it is obvious that both ischemic colitis and mesenteric ischemia are conditions due to the inadequate blood supply.
What is Ischemic Colitis?
Superior mesenteric artery and inferior mesenteric artery are the two main arteries responsible for the blood supply of colon. An occlusion in one or both of these arteries results in ischemia of the colonic tissues. The manifestation of this is a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain with profuse per rectal bleeding. The area of splenic flexure is the most vulnerable region to get affected by this condition because of its location. The location is a watershed area due to the manner in which the colonic blood supply develop.
The abdomen is usually tender, and an abdominal x-ray will show the characteristic thumb printing appearance in the splenic flexure.
What is Mesenteric Ischemia?
Mesenteric ischemia is due to the inadequate blood supply to the small bowel wall. Some of the manifestations of this condition are abdominal pain that develops around two hours after eating, weight loss, bloody stool at times, changes in bowel habits, nausea and vomiting. Doppler USS, CT scan of the abdomen occasionally with CT angiography, and Mesenteric angiogram help to confirm the clinical suspicion.
What is the Difference Between Ischemic Colitis and Mesenteric Ischemia?
Ischemic Colitis and Mesenteric Ischemia
|Inadequate blood supply to the colon gives rise to ischemic colitis.||Mesenteric ischemia is due to the inadequate blood supply to the small bowel wall.|
|Colon becomes ischemic.||Small bowel wall becomes ischemia.|
Summary – Ischemic Colitis vs Mesenteric Ischemia
The major difference between ischemic colitis and mesenteric ischemia is that in ischemic colitis, the blood supply to the colon is reduced whereas, in mesenteric ischemia, the blood supply to the small bowel walls is reduced. Therefore, both are conditions due to the compromised blood supply.
1. Kumar, Parveen J., and Michael L. Clark. Kumar & Clark clinical medicine. Edinburgh: W.B. Saunders, 2009.