This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is a rare disorder characterized by chronic, recurrent abdominal pain related to compression of the celiac artery (which supplies blood to the upper abdominal organs) by the median arcuate ligament (a muscular fibrous band of the diaphragm). It usually presents with symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, and an abdominal bruit (abnormal sound of a blood vessel when blocked or narrowed). The cause is not fully understood; however, it is suspected that there could be a combination of vascular (blood supply) and neurogenic (neurological) components involved. Diagnosis is usually confirmed with imaging such as CT angiography, MRI, ultrasound, and arteriography. Surgery is currently the only treatment option and involves releasing the ligament.
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