ID: 153
Category: Stomach
CreatedBy: 1
UpdatedBy: 1
createdon: 10 Feb 2023
updatedon: 21 Jun 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Feb 10, 2023
Updated Jun 21, 2023

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Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

Etymology and Pronunciation

Mesenteric (meh-sen-TER-ik)
mesos - Latin for "middle"
enteron - Latin for "intestine"
-ium - Latin for "tissue" or structure"
mesenterium - Latin for "middle intestine"

lymphadenitis (lim-fad-uh-NY-tis)
lympha - Latin for "clear water"
Or lympho- - Greek for "lymph"
aden - Greek for "gland"
-itis - Greek for "inflammation"

History of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

Mesenteric lymphadenitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the lymph nodes in the mesentery.

In the 1890s, a French surgeon named Charles Louis Auguste Lignerolles published several case reports describing patients with abdominal pain, fever, and enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes. He attributed these symptoms to a variety of causes, including tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and other infectious diseases.

In the 1950s, imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT, and MRI were used to visualize the inflamed mesenteric lymph nodes and surrounding tissue in mesenteric lymphadenitis cases. These imaging studies, along with laboratory tests such as blood tests and cultures of bodily fluids, helped suggest that the condition was frequently caused by viral or bacterial infections, such as adenovirus or Yersinia enterocolitica.

Modern Understanding of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

The mesentery is a fold of tissue that attaches the intestine to the abdominal wall and holds it in place. It is a continuous structure that extends from the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) to the colon. The mesentery contains blood vessels, nerves, and lymph nodes, which play important roles in the digestive and immune systems. Recent research has also suggested that the mesentery may have additional functions, such as regulating inflammation in the body.

Mesenteric lymphadenitis, also known as mesenteric adenitis, is a condition that causes inflammation of the lymph nodes in the mesentery. This condition is most commonly seen in children and adolescents.

The symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis can vary, but usually include abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pain is usually located in the lower right side of the abdomen, where the appendix is located, and can be mistaken for appendicitis.

Diagnosis is typically made through physical examination, blood tests, and imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition. If it is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Pain relief medication and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be given to relieve symptoms.

In most cases, mesenteric lymphadenitis is a self-limiting condition that resolves on its own within a few weeks. However, in some cases, it can lead to complications such as abscess formation, bowel obstruction, or peritonitis, which requires prompt medical attention.

Causes of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

The most common cause of mesenteric lymphadenitis is a viral infection, such as gastroenteritis — often called stomach flu. This infection causes inflammation in the lymph nodes in the thin tissue that attaches your intestine to the back of your abdominal wall (mesentery).

It can also be a complication of other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis, or cancer.

Treatments for Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

The treatment for mesenteric lymphadenitis usually depends on the underlying cause of the condition. In most cases, the condition resolves on its own with time and supportive care. Pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be prescribed to relieve abdominal pain.

If the condition is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the enlarged lymph nodes. This is usually only considered if the lymph nodes are very large, causing severe symptoms or if they are suspected to be cancerous.

In addition to these treatments, it is important to stay hydrated and rest to allow the body to heal. A bland diet may be recommended to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms. It is important to avoid strenuous physical activity until the condition has resolved. Follow-up appointments with a doctor may be necessary to monitor the condition and ensure that it is improving.

Prevention of mesenteric lymphadenitis involves maintaining good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly, avoiding contact with individuals who have a viral or bacterial infection, and following a healthy diet and lifestyle to boost the immune system.


Mesenteric lymph node enlargement
Abdominal pain
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Stomach cramps
Abdominal tenderness

Confirmation Tests

- Blood test
- Ultrasound
- CT scan

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