Acute Nonspecific Mesenteric Lymphadenitis: More Than "No Need for Surgery"

Biomed Res Int. 2017:2017:9784565. doi: 10.1155/2017/9784565. Epub 2017 Feb 2.


Acute nonspecific, or primary, mesenteric lymphadenitis is a self-limiting inflammatory condition affecting the mesenteric lymph nodes, whose presentation mimics appendicitis or intussusception. It typically occurs in children, adolescents, and young adults. White blood count and C-reactive protein are of limited usefulness in distinguishing between patients with and without mesenteric lymphadenitis. Ultrasonography, the mainstay of diagnosis, discloses 3 or more mesenteric lymph nodes with a short-axis diameter of 8 mm or more without any identifiable underlying inflammatory process. Once the diagnosis is established, supportive care including hydration and pain medication is advised. Furthermore, it is crucial to reassure patients and families by explaining the condition and stating that affected patients recover completely without residuals within 2-4 weeks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Appendicitis
  • C-Reactive Protein / chemistry
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Lymphadenitis / diagnosis*
  • Mesenteric Lymphadenitis / surgery*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Acetaminophen
  • C-Reactive Protein