Enlarged Mesenteric Lymph Nodes - Often Misdiagnosed
Swollen mesenteric lymph nodes can be a source of abdominal pain and may sometimes be misdiagnosed as appendicitis. There have been a number of cases where patients had gone in to get their appendicitis out only to discover that it is not the appendix but the mesenteric lymph nodes that is causing the problem. It can be a source of abdominal pain as that is the only indicator of an underlying inflammation or infectious process.
The main function of this lymph is all the same with that of the other lymph nodes of the body. The mysenteric lymph nodes which lie in between the layers of the mysentery, may vary from 100-150 in numbers and can be divided into three sets, namely
1) One set close to the walls of the small intestine between the twigs of the superior mesentery walls,
2) A second to the loops and primary branches of the vessels.
3) And the third one along the trunk of the artery.
Also it has been discovered that Mesenteric lymph node cavitation is also a feature of celiac disease though it may be rare.
Today with the advancement in technology, routine evaluation of mesenteric lymph node is now possible. Though the lymph node may be detected as normal but there are a large number of diseases that could lead to mesenteric lymphadenopathy.
Neoplastic, inflammatory, and infectious processes etc. are some of the most common causes. These causes can also lead to lymphadenopathy in other parts of the body. Lymphadenopathy may affect the staging of the disease thereby affecting further management, thus it is important to recognize it in patients suffering from primary carcinoma.