Filed under: Children's Health
Lymphadenitis is a condition in which your lymph nodes — tissues that help your body fight off illness — become inflamed. Mesenteric lymphadenitis (mez-un-TER-ik lim-fad-uh-NIE-tis) is an inflammation of the lymph nodes in the membrane that attaches your intestine, or bowel, to your abdominal wall (mesentery). Mesenteric lymphadenitis usually results from an intestinal infection.
There are about 26 feet of bowel in your abdominal cavity. The bowel is the only organ in your body that "is free to move about its cavity," but the mesentery limits that movement. If not for the mesentery, the bowel likely would twist upon itself, causing obstruction.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis occurs mainly in children and teens and often mimics the signs and symptoms of appendicitis. Unlike appendicitis, however, mesenteric lymphadenitis is seldom serious and clears on its own.
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