Celiac artery compression syndrome managed by laparoscopy

Paolo Baccari, Efrem Civilini, Laura Dordoni, Germano Melissano, Roberto Nicoletti, Roberto Chiesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Celiac artery compression syndrome (CACS) is an unusual condition caused by abnormally low insertion of the median fibrous arcuate ligament and muscular diaphragmatic fiber resulting in luminal narrowing of the celiac trunk. Surgical treatment is the release of the extrinsic compression by division of the median arcuate ligament overlying the celiac axis and skeletonization of the aorta and celiac trunk. The laparoscopic approach has been recently reported for single cases. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and stenting of the CA alone, before or after the surgical relief of external compression to the celiac axis, has also been used. We report our 7-year experience with the laparoscopic management of CACS caused by the median arcuate ligament. Methods: Between July 2001 and May 2008, 16 patients (5 men; mean age, 52 years) were treated. Diagnosis was made by duplex ultrasound scan and angiogram (computed tomography [CT] or magnetic resonance). The mean body mass index of the patients was 21.2 kg/m2. One patient underwent laparoscopic surgery after failure of PTA and stenting of the CA, and two patients after a stenting attempt failed. Results: All procedural steps were laparoscopically completed, and the celiac trunk was skeletonized. The laparoscopic procedures lasted a mean of 90 minutes. Two cases were converted to open surgery for bleeding at the end of the operation when high energies were used. The postoperative course was uneventful. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 3 days. On follow-up, 14 patients remained asymptomatic, with postoperative CT angiogram showing no residual stenosis of the celiac trunk. One patient had restenosis and underwent aortoceliac artery bypass grafting after 3 months. Another patient had PTA and stenting 2 months after laparoscopic operation. All patients reported complete resolution of symptoms at a mean follow-up of 28.3 months. Conclusions: The laparoscopic approach to CACS appears to be feasible, safe, and successful, if performed by experienced laparoscopic surgeons. PTA and stenting resulted in a valid complementary procedure only when performed after the release of the extrinsic compression on the CA. Additional patients with longer follow-up are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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