Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a life threatening cause of acute abdomen. The purpose of this study is to define risk factors that predict the adverse outcome of AMI and to present our experience in the last 30 years. Hospital records and clinical data of 107 patients undergoing surgical intervention for AMI during the last 30 year period were reviewed and clinical outcomes as well as factors influencing mortality were analyzed. Mesenteric arterial thrombosis, arterial embolism and nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia (NOMI) were the cause of AMI in 68 (63.6%), 28 (26%), and 11 patients (10.2%), respectively. Abdominal pain was the most common presenting symptom (90.6%). Peritonitis was observed in 96 patients (89.7%) and 24 patients (22.4%) were in shock. Abdominal ultrasonography was performed in 46 patients (42%), abdominal CT angiography in 36 patients (33%) and mesenteric angiography in 12 patients (10.5%). All patients were operated and 11 (10%) patients underwent a second-look operation. Bowel resection was necessary in 101 patients (93.4%) during the initial operation and in seven patients (6.5%) during the second-look operation. The hospital mortality was 55.1%. Mortality was mainly due to multiorgan failure (43%). Diabetes mellitus, use of digoxine and antiplatelet drugs, duration of the symptoms until before surgery, existence of shock, low levels of the pH and bicarbonate and relaparotomy were found to be negative predictors of the perioperative mortality. The use of total parenteral nutrition and CT angiography was found to be a protective factor against mortality. A high index of suspicion with prompt diagnostic evaluation with CT angiography may reduce time prior to surgical intervention which may lead to improved patient survival. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Surgical Associates Ltd.