A Comprehensive Introduction to Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome.

Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome is a rare vascular disorder that affects the abdominal region. It is characterized by the compression of the celiac artery by the median arcuate ligament, resulting in a variety of symptoms that can be debilitating for those affected.

The median arcuate ligament is a fibrous band of tissue that spans the anterior surface of the abdominal aorta, just below the diaphragm. In normal circumstances, it acts as a support structure for the arteries and organs in the abdominal region. However, in individuals with Mals Syndrome, the ligament becomes too tight or fibrotic, causing it to compress the nearby celiac artery.

The compression of the celiac artery leads to decreased blood flow to the organs supplied by this artery, including the liver, stomach, and spleen. This can result in a range of symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, and vomiting. The severity of symptoms can vary widely between individuals, with some experiencing mild discomfort and others struggling with chronic pain and malnutrition.

A comprehensive understanding of Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management of the condition. By recognizing the symptoms and studying the underlying anatomical factors, healthcare professionals can provide appropriate treatment options to relieve the compression and improve the quality of life for individuals living with MALS.

The University of Chicago MALS Program