Ischemia-modified albumin (IMA) is a sensitive marker of myocardial ischemia, skeletal muscle ischemia, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. However, there are no studies showing whether IMA increases in mesenteric ischemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether IMA was elevated in acute mesenteric ischemia. This case-controlled study was performed in an emergency department of a university hospital. The measurement of IMA levels in patient plasma yielded means of 0.264 +/- 0.057 absorbance units (ABSU) in the thromboembolic occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) group and 0.163 +/- 0.025 ABSU in the control group. When plasma IMA levels in the thromboembolic occlusion SMA group were compared with those in the control group, statistically significant increases in IMA were observed in the occlusion group (P = .003). Findings indicating that IMA may have a place in the diagnosis of acute mesenteric embolism were obtained in this preliminary study. Further prospective studies are needed to see if IMA is clinically useful in the early detection of thromboembolic occlusion of the SMA. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.