Sclerosing mesentery, also called panniculitis mesenteric panniculitis, occurs when the mesenteric tissue that holds the small intestine in place becomes inflamed and forms scar tissue.
Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare condition and it is not clear what causes it, as it can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea and fever, but there are some people who do not show any symptoms and signs of the disease and may not need treatment.
In rare cases, scar tissue formed by sclerosing mesentery can prevent food from moving through the digestive tract, in which case surgery may be required.
Symptoms of sclerosing mesentery include abdominal pain with vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and fever. Sometimes sufferers have no symptoms, and there is no known cause of the infection.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose sclerosing mesenteritis include:
Physical examination: With a physical examination, your doctor will look for clues and signs that help determine your prognosis. For example, having sclerosing mesenteritis often causes a lump in the upper part of your abdomen that you can feel during a physical examination.
Imaging: Imaging tests of your abdomen may reveal that you have sclerosing mesenteritis. These tests may include a CT scan or an MRI.
Taking a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy): Your doctor may recommend a biopsy of your tissues to rule out any other diseases and make a final diagnosis, in case you have signs and symptoms of MS, and the biopsy sample may be taken by inserting a long needle into your skin or during Surgery.
While you are receiving care for another condition that may be diagnosed as having sclerosing mesenteritis, if you are not in any pain from having it, you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor may recommend periodic imaging tests to monitor your condition.
If signs and symptoms of sclerosing mesentery begin to appear, you have the option to start treatment.
Medicines for sclerosing mesenteritis aim to control inflammation and may include:
Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, help control inflammation. It can be used on its own, but it is usually combined with other medicines, and it is not used for more than 3 to 4 months due to its side effects.
Hormonal therapy: Hormonal treatments, such as tamoxifen, may slow the growth of scar tissue, and tamoxifen (Soltamox) is usually combined with corticosteroids or other drugs and can be used long term. Tamoxifen increases the risk of blood clots forming, and it is usually taken with aspirin daily to reduce this risk, and progesterone (Prometrium) can be used instead of tamoxifen, and that also has significant side effects.
Other medicines: Several other medicines are used to treat sclerosing mesentery, such as azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), colchicine (Colcris, Metiger), cyclophosphamide, and thalidomide (Thalomide).