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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9784565, 4 pages
Review Article

Acute Nonspecific Mesenteric Lymphadenitis: More Than “No Need for Surgery”

1Pediatric Department of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland
2Department of Radiology, Ospedale Regionale Bellinzona e Valli, Bellinzona, Switzerland
3University Children’s Hospital Bern, University of Bern, Switzerland
4Pediatric Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France
5Pediatric Emergency Department, Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
6Pediatric Unit, Università degli Studi di Milano, Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Sebastiano A. G. Lava

Received 21 June 2016; Accepted 17 January 2017; Published 2 February 2017

Academic Editor: Ugo Cioffi

Copyright © 2017 Rossana Helbling et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.