Article Abstract

Sclerosing mesenteritis: a comprehensive clinical review

Authors: Michael S. Green, Rajiv Chhabra, Hemant Goyal


Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare disease entity initially described in 1924 with a prevalence reported to be less than 1%. Sclerosing mesenteritis is a comprehensive term used to describe three almost similar clinical entities including mesenteric panniculitis, retractile mesenteritis, and mesenteric lipodystrophy which only differ by their histology. The etiology of sclerosing mesenteritis is uncertain, but the disease has been associated with trauma, autoimmune disease, surgery, and malignancy. The typical presenting symptom is the abdominal pain, but sclerosing mesenteritis has a broad constellation of presenting symptoms which often makes consideration of the diagnosis unlikely. Treatment for this little-understood disease ranges from surgical intervention for patients presenting with obstructive symptoms to immunosuppressive medical therapy for patients presenting with pain. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the literature relevant to the diagnosis, etiology, and management of this condition in hopes of making physicians aware of this unique condition.