Mesenteric lymphadenitis, commonly referred to as mesenteric adenitis, is a disorder in which the abdominal lymph nodes becomes inflamed. The term “mesenteric” describes the inflammation that develops in the mesentery, a fold of membrane that connects the intestine to the abdominal wall.
The body’s immune system includes lymph nodes as one of its organs. In order to prevent the transmission, the lymph nodes filter the potentially harmful substances such as viruses and bacteria to other body parts. The size of lymph nodes is comparable to a pea, but when they are inflamed, they can enlarge and become sensitive.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis typically results from a viral intestinal infection. Mostly children and teenagers are affected by this condition. Adults and people who are older than 20 are not commonly affected.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis can have symptoms similar to those of appendicitis or intussusception, where one part of the intestine slides into another. However, unlike these conditions, mesenteric lymphadenitis is a rare and severe illness that usually resolves without medical intervention.
Symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis can range from mild to severe, and may resemble those of appendicitis. Common signs and symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis may include:
- Right lower abdominal pain, however it may spread to other areas
- Abdominal tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mesenteric lymph node enlargement
Identifying whether abdominal pain in children and teenagers requires medical attention can be difficult.
Medical attention should be sought if a child experiences sudden and severe abdominal pain, abdominal pain accompanied by fever, or abdominal pain along with diarrhea or vomiting. It is also advisable to seek medical attention if the symptoms do not improve, if there is a change in bowel movements, loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping due to abdominal pain.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis is brought on by inflamed and swollen lymph nodes in the abdomen. Lymph nodes may enlarge as a result of an infection or as a sign of a disorder that produces inflammation. The following causes mesenteric lymphadenitis:
- Viral or bacterial infection: The common infection is gastroenteritis (or stomach flu), bacteria from uncooked food, tuberculosis, or HIV related infection. The lymph nodes that connects the intestine to the rear of the abdominal wall become inflamed as a result of this infection.
- Inflammatory conditions: The child’s abdominal lymph nodes might become inflamed as a result of another illness that causes another area of the body to expand, such as appendicitis, cancer (gastrointestinal or lymphoma), inflammatory bowel condition, pancreatitis, or diverticulitis.