DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Lymphadenitis is a condition in which your lymph nodes — tissues that help your body fight off illness — become inflamed. Mesenteric lymphadenitis (mez-un-TER-ik lim-fad-uh-NIE-tis) is an inflammation of the lymph nodes in the membrane that attaches your intestine (bowel) to your abdominal wall (mesentery). Mesenteric lymphadenitis usually results from an intestinal infection.
The mesentery connects the bowel to the abdominal cavity. It also limits the movement of the intestines in the abdominal cavity. If not for the mesentery, the bowel likely would more frequently twist upon itself, causing obstruction.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis often mimics the signs and symptoms of appendicitis. Unlike appendicitis, however, mesenteric lymphadenitis is seldom serious and clears on its own.
- Doherty GM, ed. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=23. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Brunicardi FC, ed., et al. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=50. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Ferry GD. Causes of acute abdominal pain in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Fishman MB, et al. Differential diagnosis of abdominal pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2013.