Mesenteric adenitis is a tricky condition. It’s most common among children and teens, but it’s often confused with appendicitis, due to the fact that they both share a common symptom of lower right abdominal pain.
The difference between the two, though, is that mesenteric adenitis is almost always caused by a prior infection while appendicitis isn’t.
Read on to learn more about mesenteric adenitis from our AFC Urgent Care NC team.
What Is Mesenteric Adenitis?
Mesenteric adenitis (also known as mesenteric lymphadenitis) is an inflammation of the lymph nodes in the abdomen. They become inflamed in a region called the mesentery, which attaches the intestines to the lower right region of the abdominal wall.
Lymphadenitis is most often caused by an infection of some sort, which causes the lymph nodes to swell, thus causing abdominal pain. We’ve listed the most common symptoms of mesenteric adenitis below.
Common Mesenteric Adenitis Symptoms
- Pain in the abdomen, often on the lower right side
- Abdominal tenderness
Does an Infection Always Cause Mesenteric Adenitis?
While it’s true that there are times where it’s tough for doctors to definitively tell what’s causing mesenteric adenitis, infections are more often than not the cause. Viral and bacterial infections are the most common types of infections that induce lymphadenitis, which is why the condition will sometimes come after a bout with the flu or a cold.
We’ve listed a few other infections that might cause mesenteric adenitis below.
Other Infections That May Cause Mesenteric Adenitis
- Gastroenteritis. This may result from viral infections such as rotavirus or norovirus, and it’s often misnamed the “stomach flu.”
- Yersinia enterocolitica. This bacterial infection is the most common cause of mesenteric lymphadenitis in children.
- Tuberculosis. This is a bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs, but it can also attack other parts of the body, like the stomach and intestines.
- Acute terminal ileitis. This is an inflammation of the end of the small intestine. It may be due to a type of bacteria or Crohn’s disease.
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