Mesenteric venous thrombosis (MVT) is an infrequent thrombotic event that can cause devastating intestinal hemorrhagic ischemia. The mortality rate among patients with acute MVT ranges from 20 to 50%. Occurrence of MVT in pregnancy is quite rare. In this case report, we describe a pregnant woman who presented with acute MVT at 35 weeks of gestation.
Our case was a 26-year-old primigravid woman at 35 weeks gestation. She presented to Guangzhou First People’s Hospital with complaints of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The second day after admission, she complained of more intense abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting and abdominal distention that were out of proportion to physical signs. An emergency exploratory laparotomy was performed. The entire ileum, part of the jejunum and part of the ascending colon were gangrenous, and thromboembolism was discovered in the corresponding mesenteric veins. The necrotic intestine was resected and an end-to-end jejunum-colon anastomosis was performed. A cesarean section was performed to remove the placenta and fetus, which had expired. Histopathological analysis revealed extensive edema, hemorrhage, inflammatory infiltration and necrosis in the resected bowel, and widespread thrombosis in mesenteric venous lumens.
The diagnosis of MVT during pregnancy is very difficult due to its low incidence, and non-characteristic symptoms, signs and laboratory results. MVT may be the underlying cause of severe abdominal pain during pregnancy and should be included in the differential diagnosis of pregnant patients with an acute abdomen.