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Mesenteric adenitis: Treatment, symptoms, advice & help

About mesenteric adenitis

Mesenteric adenitis is characterised by inflammation of lymph nodes placed in the lower abdominal region. Lymph nodes are pea-sized glandular structures, responsible for maintaining the immunity balance in the body. The inflammatory process affecting the lymph nodes of the abdominal region is mild and usually resolves without treatment, in most cases.

Mesenteric adenitis: Incidence, age and sex

Mesenteric adenitis is a commonly encountered condition worldwide, with a markedly higher frequency in children as compared to adults. There seems to be no apparent gender predilection in incidence of mesenteric adenitis.

Signs and symptoms of mesenteric adenitis: Diagnosis

The clinical features of mesenteric adenitis are quite similar to appendicitis and presents with abdominal pain. The pain is generally localised to the centre of the abdomen or the right lower quadrant of abdomen. The affected individual may also experience high temperature, nausea or vomiting.

A detailed history and comprehensive physical examination may give a clue to the diagnosis. It is a difficult diagnosis, since it may mimic other causes of abdominal pain like appendicitis. However, certain imaging tests like CT scan or ultrasonography are advisable to establish the diagnosis. Occasionally, invasive diagnostic methods like laparotomy may be needed, when the diagnosis is not clear even after the imaging investigations.

Causes and prevention of mesenteric adenitis

Mesenteric adenitis occurs as a result of infection of the lymph nodes. Such infection can be either viral or bacterial in origin. Even mild infections like common cold may lead to mesenteric adenitis.

Mesenteric adenitis: Complications

There are as such no complications of mesenteric adenitis, since it is a self-limiting condition. However, the underlying causes of mesenteric adenitis may result in complicating factors.

Mesenteric adenitis: Treatment

Most of the individuals with mesenteric adenitis improve without any treatment. However in some cases, antibiotic therapy may be required to treat any underlying infection which may have led to mesenteric adenitis. Paracetamol (for high-temperature) and analgesic medication (for pain) may be given for symptomatic relief. The prognosis of the condition is good since it resolves rapidly and recurrence rate is low.