Of the 123 patients with acute mesenteric infarction treated over the past 12 years, 16 (13%) had mesenteric venous thrombosis. Eight of the patients with mesenteric venous thrombosis survived the initial episode; two have since died. The remaining six patients were studied for evidence of haemostatic deficiencies or abnormalities. Antithrombin III deficiency, which is known to be associated with recurrent venous thrombosis, was found in three patients. It is recommended that all patients with mesenteric venous thrombosis should be screened for antithrombin III deficiency as treatment with coumarin anticoagulants may be indicated, providing effective prophylaxis against further thrombotic episodes.
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