Mesenteric lymphadenitis is a disease that occurs in the majority of cases in children. The disease is also referred to by the synonymous terms Masshoff’s disease and mesenteric lymphadenitis. The main symptom of the disease is swollen and inflamed lymph nodes. The so-called mesenteric lymph nodes are primarily affected.
What is mesenteric lymphadenitis?
Basically, mesenteric lymphadenitis represents a swelling of the lymph nodes. The swelling of the lymph nodes usually occurs as a result of various infections. The so-called ileum is inflamed. In most cases, patients develop mesenteric lymphadenitis in childhood. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Mesenteric Lymphadenitis.
Often no treatment measures are necessary, since the mesenteric lymphadenitis usually heals without therapy. The technical term lymphadenitis stands for an inflammatory condition that affects the lymph nodes. In the majority of cases, this is a result of infections. With inflammation, the lymph node reacts to various types of pathogens.
In addition, however, there are other potential triggers that may cause mesenteric lymphadenitis. Possible causes are, for example , disorders of the metabolic processes, certain types of cancer and various drugs that cause the lymph nodes to swell.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis is triggered directly by inflammation in the area of the ileum. This is usually caused by infections with various pathogens. Possible germs that may cause non-specific mesenteric lymphadenitis are, for example, adenoviruses, the cytomegalovirus or the so-called Epstein-Barr virus.
Much less frequently, special rotaviruses are responsible for the development of mesenteric lymphadenitis. If it is a specific form of mesenteric lymphadenitis, the pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are also possible triggers.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Various complaints and signs of disease appear in the context of mesenteric lymphadenitis. These often differ slightly from patient to patient and also vary in terms of their degree of severity. Basically, mesenteric lymphadenitis shows certain similarities to appendicitis.
For this reason, the synonymous term ‘pseudoappendicitis’ emerged, which is sometimes used to describe mesenteric lymphadenitis. Typical symptoms include fever and pressure pain in the lower abdomen on the right side. In some cases, other lymph nodes in other areas of the body are also affected by the swelling.
Even the tonsils sometimes swell as part of mesenteric lymphadenitis. Numerous symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis are similar to those of appendicitis, so that this must also be clarified in the differential diagnosis.
Special rectal examinations may indicate appendicitis relatively clearly, although mesenteric lymphadenitis is actually present. There is, for example, a typical rectal difference in temperature. The tonsils are often involved, especially in the unspecific form of the disease.
Diagnosis & course of disease
There are various options for diagnosing mesenteric lymphadenitis. They are used taking into account the individual symptoms. First of all, a thorough anamnesis is important, which the treating doctor carries out together with the sick patient.
Since most of the people affected are children, the parents or guardians are usually absent. After the patient consultation, various clinical examinations take place, which the doctor decides on. The responsible pathogens are excreted with the stool and can theoretically be identified in this way.
In reality, however, this proof is rarely successful. A diagnosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis is also possible via the increased antibody titer. With the help of high-resolution sonographic examinations, the swelling of the lymph nodes can be visualized. Abdominal ultrasound scans also show swollen lymph nodes.
In addition, a characteristic temperature difference forms in the rectal area. With regard to the differential diagnosis, mesenteric lymphadenitis must be differentiated from Crohn’s disease and appendicitis or inflammation of the appendix.
In most cases, mesenteric lymphadenitis leads to a fairly high fever. Those affected also suffer from symptoms that are relatively similar to the flu. Furthermore, there is also pain in the abdominal area, which occurs mainly in the form of pressure pain. The patient’s quality of life is significantly reduced by this pain.
It can also lead to appendicitis, which is usually also associated with severe pain. The patients continue to suffer from fatigue and exhaustion. The resilience of those affected is also significantly reduced and limited by mesenteric lymphadenitis.
In most cases, mesenteric lymphadenitis does not require immediate treatment unless it causes other symptoms or symptoms. Medical intervention is only necessary in serious cases. People can also take antibiotics to relieve symptoms.
Other complications usually do not arise. With successful treatment, the symptoms usually disappear completely.
When should you go to the doctor?
People who have a fever or a general feeling of illness should see a doctor. If there is tenderness in the abdominal region, this indicates an irregularity that should be examined and treated. Most patients experience discrepancies throughout the abdominal area. In the case of swelling, enlarged lymph and tonsils, it is advisable to consult a doctor. If you experience a tight throat, difficulty swallowing, or trouble eating, you have a condition that should be evaluated and treated. Inflammation in the body, problems with the appendix or the digestive tract and a decrease in the usual performance are signs of a health impairment.
A doctor’s visit is necessary so that the cause can be investigated. If the symptoms persist for a long time or increase in intensity, a doctor should be consulted. In the case of sweating, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, the affected person needs medical care. An increase in pulse rate, cardiac arrhythmia or sleep disturbances are also indications that should be followed up. If you feel generally unwell, feel weak or irritated, you should see a doctor. If the person concerned can no longer pursue sporting activities as usual or if there are problems in fulfilling everyday obligations, it is advisable to clarify the symptoms.
Treatment & Therapy
Basically, mesenteric lymphadenitis is a disease that is usually self-limiting. For this reason, therapeutic measures are hardly necessary. Intervention is only necessary in exceptional cases. One possible complication of mesenteric lymphadenitis is what is known as intussusception.
In some cases, it is necessary to perform a surgical procedure. Patients may be prescribed antibiotics to treat mesenteric lymphadenitis. This is especially the case if the disease is delayed or if the person is immunosuppressed. Even if no therapeutic measures are used, physical rest for the patient is helpful for the course of mesenteric lymphadenitis.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis is usually favorable. The administration of medicines kills the pathogens in the organism and then transports them away. Within a few days or weeks, the symptoms will be alleviated until recovery finally occurs.
In a large number of cases, the swelling of the lymph subsides without any therapeutic treatment. A necessary prerequisite for this is a fundamentally stable immune system of the affected person. With a healthy lifestyle, the body’s own defenses can, under certain circumstances, initiate an adequate healing process. Nevertheless, the entire process is accelerated with medical treatment. With appropriate support, the body’s own defense system can defend itself against the pathogens more quickly and thus bring about an improved course of the disease.
Complications can occur in people who have an immature or very weak immune system. If left untreated, an increase in symptoms can be expected. The inner strength decreases and the quality of life is significantly reduced. Even with medical care, the healing path for these patients is longer. If there is also an intolerance to the prescribed drug, a further increase in health irregularities can be expected. Nevertheless, despite complications and adversities, mesenteric lymphadenitis can be cured. In rare cases, surgery is the last option.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis is usually triggered by certain types of pathogens that infect the organism. As a result, swelling develops in the lymph nodes. Mesenteric lymphadenitis can therefore only be prevented if there are preventive measures for the corresponding disease triggers.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis is self-limiting and does not always require treatment. To prevent complications, timely consultation with a doctor who will monitor the course of the disease in the mostly childish patients is recommended.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis is a disease that in many cases heals without complications. Nevertheless, consistent follow-up care is required to avoid recurrence of the disease or superinfection with bacteria. The aftercare is overseen by the treating doctor.
In particular, patients with serious or chronic comorbidities, pregnant women, people with weak immune systems, the elderly and small children should follow their doctor’s aftercare instructions. Then complete remission without recurrence can be realized to a large extent. A healthy and mindful lifestyle is essential.
Above all, this includes not putting too much strain on the body too early. Sport may only be practiced after consultation with the doctor, so as not to subject the cardiovascular system to great stress too early. The immune system also needs some time to be able to sustainably regenerate from the weakening. Adequate drinking serves to stabilize the circulatory system and to compensate for fluid loss through sweating in the event of a fever.
Excessive exposure to cold should be avoided during the aftercare period. In this context, cold feet are just as unfavorable as drafts. Sufficient sleep also helps the body to regenerate. The life expectancy of those affected by this disease usually remains unchanged if it is treated properly.
You can do that yourself
Mesenteric lymphadenitis usually heals on its own and therefore does not require any major accompanying measures. Patients only have to pay attention to unusual symptoms and any side effects and interactions of the medication used.
If physical complaints such as allergies or gastrointestinal problems occur during recovery, the doctor must be informed. If an intussusception is suspected, the hospital should be contacted immediately. In order to avoid an intensification of the protuberance, no more bowel movements should take place until the medical clarification. Rest and bed rest apply after a surgical intervention, such as that which is also carried out under the impression of appendicitis. The patient can leave the hospital after a few days and should avoid, among other things, physical exertion and the consumption of laxative or irritating foods. The consumption of alcoholic beverages as well as caffeine and nicotine must also be reduced so that the surgical wound can heal without complications.
After a few days, the family doctor should be consulted again with the lymphadenitis mesenteralis. In the vast majority of patients, the disease of the lymph nodes heals without further complications or long-term health consequences.