Acute mesenteric ischemia is commonly seen in old patients. This study was undertaken to show that mesenteric ischemia might be seen in individuals under 40 years of age and that its diagnosis is challenging. Twenty-six patients with acute mesenteric ischemia under the age of 40 were studied. The main symptom on admission was abdominal pain. Symptom duration varied between 12 h and 5 days. The medical history of the patients revealed that 9 had no previous diseases. Other 17 had predisposing factors in the first evaluation. None of the patients had any history of narcotic or drug abuse. Ten patients presented with signs and symptoms of sepsis and septic shock. Preoperative diagnosis was acute intestinal ischemia only in 6 patients. Preoperatively, all the patients had intestinal or colonic ischemia and necrosis; one had additional ischemia of the liver, stomach, duodenum, and pancreas. Six patients had massive intestinal necrosis. The overall postoperative complication and overall mortality rates were 61.5 and 26.9 %, respectively. Complications and mortality were determined to be associated with previous pulmonary disease, acidosis, presence of septic shock, acute renal failure, extent of the ischemia and extent of resection, second look operations, previous cardiac events, and the kind of affected bowel (colon involvement).