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Small bowel (small intestine)

Benign tumors and tumor-like conditions

Idiopathic retractile mesenteritis

Reviewer: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 21 December 2012, last major update August 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Rare, idiopathic, nonneoplastic condition usually affecting small bowel, which can cause thickening and shortening of mesentery
● Also called mesenteric panniculitis
● Usually men age 40+, associated with intestinal obstruction but no other systemic symptoms
● Despite some reports, not strongly associated with trauma or surgery (World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:6139)

Case reports

● 36 year old man with fever, chills and weight loss (Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2008;63:843)
● 37 year old woman with chronic abdominal pain and thickened colonic wall (Tunis Med 2010;88:950)
● 74 year old man with acute abdominal pain (World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:117)

Clinical images

Small bowel obstruction from area of localized thickening

Gross images

Colon (sigmoid): normal mucosa with wall thickening

Micro description

● Fibrosis, fat necrosis, chronic inflammation, variable focal calcification
● Minimal atypia or mitotic figures

Micro images

Various images

End of Small bowel (small intestine) > Other / benign tumors and tumor-like conditions > Idiopathic retractile mesenteritis

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