What is mesenteric adenitis, what are the symptoms and treatment

Mesenteric adenitis, or mesenteric lymphadenitis, is an inflammation of the lymph nodes of the mesentery, connected to the intestine, which results from an infection usually caused by bacteria or viruses , leading to the appearance of severe abdominal pain, similar to that of an acute appendicitis.

Generally, mesenteric adenitis is not serious, being more frequent in children under 5 years old and young people under 25 years old, due to bacterial or viral infections in the intestines that disappear without any type of treatment.

The symptoms of mesenteric adenitis can last for days or weeks, however, they can be easily controlled with the treatment recommended by the doctor, which is done according to the cause of the adenitis.

Table of Contents

What symptoms

Symptoms of mesenteric adenitis can last for days or weeks, the main ones being:

  • Severe abdominal pain in the lower right side of the belly;
  • Fever above 38ยบ C;
  • Feeling sick;
  • Weight loss;
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.

In rarer cases, mesenteric adenitis may not cause symptoms, being only diagnosed during routine examinations, such as abdominal ultrasound, for example. In these cases, even if they do not cause symptoms, it is necessary to identify the cause of the problem in order to make the appropriate treatment.

Possible causes

Mesenteric adenitis is caused mainly by viral or bacterial infections, mainly by  Yersinia enterocolitica,  which enter the body and promote inflammation of the mesentery ganglia, causing fever and abdominal pain. 

In addition, mesenteric adenitis can also result from diseases such as lymphoma or inflammatory bowel disease.

Learn how to identify and treat bacterial adenitis.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for mesenteric adenitis should be guided by a gastroenterologist or general practitioner, in the case of the adult, or by a pediatrician, in the case of the child and usually depends on the cause of the problem.

So, if the cause of mesenteric adenitis is a viral infection, the doctor will recommend analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to control the symptoms, until the body clears the virus.

However, if it is a bacterium that is the source of the problem, it may be necessary to use antibiotics, which can be combined with other medications, to control the symptoms. Understand more about treatment for intestinal infection.

What is the diagnosis

The diagnosis of mesenteric adenitis is made by the gastroenterologist or general practitioner, based on the assessment of symptoms presented by the person and the results of imaging tests, such as computed tomography and ultrasound.

In some cases, the doctor may also request to perform co-culture, which corresponds to the microbiological analysis of the feces, with the intention of detecting the microorganism that causes adenitis and, thus, be able to recommend the best treatment.

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