Pediatric chronic abdominal pain and median arcuate ligament syndrome: A review and psychosocial comparison

Grace Zee Mak, Amanda R. Lucchetti, Tina Drossos, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Erin C. Accurso, Colleen Stiles-Shields, Erika A. Newman, Christopher L. Skelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic abdominal pain (CAP) occurs in children and adolescents with a reported prevalence of 4% to 41% with significant direct and indirect costs to the child, family, and society. Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is a vascular compression syndrome of the celiac artery that may cause symptoms of epigastric pain and weight loss and is a frequently overlooked cause of CAP in the pediatric population. We have observed that the psychosocial presentation of patients with MALS is notable for various psychiatric comorbidities. In this article, we review MALS as well as our study results of the psychosocial profile of 30 MALS patients. Our data suggest that children and adolescents with MALS have similar psychosocial profiles to children with other gastrointestinal disorders resulting in CAP. The overlap of physical and psychosocial symptoms of patients who have MALS with other CAP disorders leads us to recommend that patients with CAP should be evaluated for MALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e257-e264
JournalPediatric annals
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2016

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