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Mesenteric Adenitis – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

What is Mesenteric Adenitis?


Mesenteric Adenitis, which is also called mesenteric lymphadenitis, is an inflammation of lymph nodes in the abdomen, specifically, the mesentery part of the abdomen. It is normally due to infection of the tissues which connect the intestines to the abdominal wall. Usually, the pain occurs in the right lower side of the abdomen which is sometimes mistakenly diagnosed as acute appendicitis. This disease, which is more common in children than in adults, normally affects more boys than girls.

Mesenteric Adenitis

Mesenteric Adenitis Showing Inflammation of the Lymph Nodes in the Abdomen

Signs and Symptoms of Mesenteric Adenitis

  1. Abdominal pain is one of the common symptoms of mesenteric adenitis. It can be located in the center or lower right side of the abdomen.
  2. Nausea and vomiting, if left untreated, can cause dehydration in patients with mesenteric adenitis.
  3. Abdominal tenderness is due to the inflammation of the lymph nodes in the abdomen.
  4. Diarrhea may lead to dehydration.
  5. Fever, which is usually accompanied by abdominal pain, will normally produce body chills and night sweats which will cause more discomfort.
  6. Body malaise or weakness due to the pain, episodes of diarrhea, and vomiting can lead to dehydration.
  7. Loss of appetite due to the general feeling of being  ill is a result of having mesenteric adenitis.

Causes of Mesenteric Adenitis


The common cause is infection which can make the abdomen swollen. This includes the following:

  1. Gastroenteritis is a condition in the gastrointestinal tract which makes the stomach inflamed and irritated.
  2. Yersinia enterocolitica, a type of disease that is common in children, is caused by a bacteria which can cause gastroenteritis. It is also called a “look like” disease because it possesses similar signs and symptoms of other diseases like Crohn’s disease and acute appendicitis.
  3. Infections related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can attack or damage the abdominal area.
  4. Tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria that affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body like the abdomen.


Inflammatory conditions that are usually linked to mesenteric adenitis include the following:

  1. Appendicitis, a disease in which the appendix becomes inflamed
  2. Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease which can lead to the development of mesenteric adenitis
  3. Connective tissue disease like rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Diverticulitis, a disease where there is an inflammation in the lining of the intestine (primarily the large intestine)
  5. Pancreatitis, a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed

Diagnosis of Mesenteric Adenitis

  1. Medical history will help medical professionals to check if there are previous diseases that might contribute to the development of mesenteric adenitis.
  2. Physical examination is recommended if there is any medical condition that might affect the diagnosis of the disease.
  3. Blood test, which is performed by extracting blood from a vein, will help medical professionals identify any infection in the blood, certain diseases, drug effectiveness, and organ function.
  4. Urine test will help medical professionals rule out infection in the urinary tract. Urinalysis is a type of exam that will help medical professionals to identify any diseases and abnormality.
  5. Abdominal ultrasound can also help examine internal organs and determine any inflammation that is present. This will help medical professionals see if there are any visible abnormalities like inflamed organs that are present during this exam and to identify the present disease that the person is manifesting.
  6. Abdominal computed tomography scan (CT scan) is a type of x-ray that can provide sharper and detailed images of the lungs. It combines a series of x-ray views with different angles that produce cross-sectional images of bones and tissues inside the body.
  7. Laparoscopy is a kind of minor operation where medical professionals cut a small incision in the abdomen or pelvis and then insert a tube like-instrument that has a camera to help them diagnose and inspect the condition of that particular organ.

Treatment for Mesenteric Adenitis

This disease usually does not need any specific treatment except for pain relievers and antibiotics if any infections are present.

  1. Over-the-counter pain reliever: analgesic: It is known to relieve pain and muscle aches and to help the person affected by the disease to rest.
  2. Medications for fever: paracetamol: It will help reduce fever in patients who normally are suffering from an infection.
  3. Antibiotics: This medication, which is used to treat bacteria or viruses that cause the infection, is given by medical professionals to treat the underlying cause of mesenteric adenitis.
  4. Intravenous therapy : This helps treat dehydration when the person experiences vomiting and diarrhea.
  5. Application of moist heat in the abdomen: It is used to relieve abdominal tenderness and reduce irritability.

Complications of Mesenteric Adenitis

When a person has mesenteric adenitis, it is advisable to seek help and treatment plan from a medical professional instead of relying on self-medication. To minimize the risk of complications, he or she should follow the treatment plan that is given by the medical professional. Complications arising from mesenteric adenitis are usually rare. However, if the disease is left untreated, it can cause:

  1. Electrolyte imbalance: Due to diarrhea and episodes of vomiting which will make the person dehydrated and weak, he or she can become more susceptible to more diseases due to a decreased immune system.
  2. Spread of infection : If the person has an untreated infection due to a virus or bacteria, then the infection can spread all over the body, affecting the other systems in the body.

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