You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.
NORD is very grateful to Eli D. Ehrenpreis, MD, Chief, Department of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Highland Park Hospital, NorthShore University Health System and Parakkal Deepak, MD, LifeTract Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Gastroenterology, NorthShore University Health System, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Sclerosing Mesenteritis
- mesenteric lipodystrophy
- mesenteric panniculitis
- retractile mesenteritis
- No subdivisions found.
Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare spectrum of disease characterized by degeneration (necrosis), inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) of fatty (adipose) tissue of the mesentery. The mesentery is a fold of tissue of the peritoneum that supports and attaches the intestines to the wall of the abdomen. The peritoneum is the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers the abdominal organs. The small bowel mesentery is most often affected. The symptoms of sclerosing mesenteritis can vary greatly from one person to another and can include a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite and diarrhea or constipation. Non-gastrointestinal symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and fever. Some individuals do not develop any noticeable symptoms (asymptomatic). The exact cause of sclerosing mesenteritis is unknown.
Sclerosing mesenteritis was first described in the medical literature in 1924 as retractile mesenteritis. Since that time numerous, varied names have been used to describe the condition. Three prominent names that have been used in the literature are retractile mesenteritis, mesenteric panniculitis, and mesenteric lipodystrohpy. These three names denote the predominant feature in a particular case. Sclerosing mesenteritis or retractile mesenteritis refers to a predominance of fibrosis; mesenteric panniculitis refers to a predominance of inflammation; and mesenteric lipodystrophy refers to a predominance fat necrosis. Because of the presence of some degree of fibrosis, many physicians advocate sclerosing mesenteritis as the best name for this spectrum of disease.
Additional names that have been used for this disorder include mesenteric fibrosis, mesenteric sclerosis, liposclerotic mesenteritis, mesenteric Pfeifer-Weber-Christian disease, mesenteric lipogranuloma, and xanthogranulomatous mesenteritis.
Sclerosing Mesenteritis Resources
The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) web site, its databases, and the contents thereof are copyrighted by NORD. No part of the NORD web site, databases, or the contents may be copied in any way, including but not limited to the following: electronically downloading, storing in a retrieval system, or redistributing for any commercial purposes without the express written permission of NORD. Permission is hereby granted to print one hard copy of the information on an individual disease for your personal use, provided that such content is in no way modified, and the credit for the source (NORD) and NORD’s copyright notice are included on the printed copy. Any other electronic reproduction or other printed versions is strictly prohibited.
Copyright 1988, 1989, 2000, 2011
NORD's Rare Disease Information Database is copyrighted and may not be published without the written consent of NORD.