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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Sclerosing mesenteritis

Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic sclerosing mesenteritis
  • Liposclerotic mesenteritis
  • Mesenteric fibromatosis
  • Mesenteric lipodystrophy
  • Mesenteric lipogranuloma
More Names
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Your Question

I had surgery 5 years ago to remove sclerosing mesenteritis. Can this come back?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is sclerosing mesenteritis? 

Sclerosing mesenteritis is one of many terms used to describe a spectrum of chronic inflammatory diseases affecting the small bowel mesentery, the membrane that anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall.[1][2]  The cause of this condition is unknown. The most common symptom is abdominal pain or a palpable abdominal mass.[3][4] Click here to view an illustration of the small intestine.
Last updated: 7/11/2011

How might sclerosing mesenteritis be treated?

Treatment for sclerosing mesenteritis is most often based on the stage of the disease.

  • In the early stage when fat necrosis predominates, many physicians tend not to treat because the disease process may regress spontaneously.[4]
  • When chronic inflammation becomes a prominent feature but fibrosis is not yet fully developed, medical treatment with corticosteroids, colchicine, immunosuppressants, or orally administered progesterone may be beneficial in the prevention of disease progression.[1][4] These medications are only given for a short period since they can cause serious side effects. Some studies have shown that patients with sclerosing mesenteritis may benefit from a drug combination of tamoxifen and prednisone.[1]
  • When fibrosis becomes extensive, especially when the disease presents as a large fibrotic mass with bowel obstruction, surgical interventions may be necessary.[1][4]
Last updated: 8/22/2011

Can sclerosing mesenteritis come back after it has been surgically removed?

Although the results of surgical removal of benign cysts and solid tumors of the mesentery are very favorable, local recurrence has been reported.[5]
Last updated: 7/21/2009