What Is Sclerosing Mesenteritis

  • Nurah Ekhlaque Masters in Biotechnology, Guru Ghasidas University, India
  • Yelim Lee Master's degree, Clinical Drug Development, Queen Mary University of London

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Sclerosing Mesenteritis is a rare inflammatory condition that affects the mesentery, the tissue that connects the intestines to the abdominal wall. This disorder involves inflammation and the formation of fibrous tissue (scar tissue) within the mesentery. Though the exact cause remains uncertain, this inflammation can lead to various discomforting symptoms and disturbances in normal mesenteric function.

Are you looking to understand more about sclerosing mesenteritis? You're in the right place. Together, let's explore and gain a deeper understanding of this topic.

Definition and Overview

Sclerosing mesenteritis is an infrequently observed inflammatory condition that impacts the tissue that holds together the intestines to the abdomen wall, referred to as such –the mesentery. This condition is associated with inflammation and the formation of fibrous tissue in the mesentery. Although the exact reason is not known for certain, this kind of inflammation can cause many uncomfortable symptoms.

Symptoms of sclerosing mesenteritis

  • Constant abdominal pain that may be localized or general with variable intensity lasting for an extended period.
  • Abdominal bloating due to increased gas or fluid retention.
  • Unknown causes of changes in bowel movements, such as irregular or different consistency.
  • Weight reduction without dietary or physical activity modifications.

Diagnosing sclerosing mesenteritis involves

  • A comprehensive review of medical history and thorough physical examination with a focus on abdominal pain.
  • Imaging tests like CT scans or MRI to depict changes in the abdomen, such as inflammation or fibrous tissue.
  • In some cases, a biopsy may be required to verify the diagnosis. This entails collecting a small tissue sample from the affected mesentery to conduct microscopic studies.
  • A combined assessment of the symptoms, imaging results, and biopsy outcomes confirms a diagnosis. However, due to its rarity and confusion with other gastrointestinal disorders in terms of symptoms, diagnosis can also be difficult ¹.

Treatment options

Treating sclerosing mesenteritis involves a multifaceted approach aimed at alleviating symptoms, curbing inflammation, and enhancing overall wellness through diverse strategies:

Medications: Often, the cornerstone of treatment includes:

Corticosteroids: Such drugs as prednisone or prednisolone can be essential in reducing inflammation rate and coping with pain during sclerosing mesenteritis.

Pain Relievers: The health care provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain medications to help in easing the discomfort.

Immunomodulators: Additional medications that help to modulate the response of the immune system could be prescribed to better control symptoms when corticosteroids are not enough.

Dietary Modifications: Some dietary interventions may help in symptom management:

Low-FODMAP Diet: Becoming a low-FODMAP diet can relieve bloating and abdominal pain.

Lifestyle Adjustments: Some lifestyle adjustments help manage symptoms and enhance overall health.

Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity, as recommended by healthcare professionals, can help reduce symptoms and promote overall health.

Stress Management: Utilizing stress-reducing approaches such as mindfulness or relaxation exercises could potentially ease symptoms that are intensified by depression.

Smoking Cessation: It is effective for smokers to quit smoking since it can aggravate inflammation and reduce the effectiveness of treatment.

Monitoring: Regular checkups with healthcare providers are crucial:

Such check-ups provide an opportunity to track the effectiveness of treatment, evaluate any possible side effects from medications, and adjust a plan if needed.⁴

By using such diverse approaches, healthcare providers try to deal with the symptoms in an optimal manner, alleviate inflammation, and improve patients’ lives significantly. The effectiveness of treatments also varies and a personalised approach is crucial, suited to each person’s needs and responses.

Prognosis and complications

Sclerosing mesenteritis has a highly variable prognosis, ranging from moderate to persistent difficulties due to chronic inflammation. The prognosis depends on a variety of factors that include the degree of inflammation, treatment response, and complications.


Sclerosing mesenteritis, especially in severe cases or when left untreated, can lead to various complications significantly affecting an individual's daily life:

  • Bowel Obstruction: Scar tissue and inflammation within the mesentery reduce or completely obstruct the intestine; this is accompanied by intense pain, constipation, and vomiting. A case of bowel obstruction calls for an immediate medical intervention.
  • Chronic Pain: Some patients suffer incessant and severe abdominal pain because of continued inflammation or nerve involvement. This chronic pain can seriously affect the daily activities and quality of life.
  • Malabsorption: Inflammation of the intestines causes poor absorption, “leading to nutritional deficiencies and unintentional weight loss.
  • Altered Bowel Function: Alterations in bowel habits, whether irregularity or diarrhoea and constipation can lead to significant discomfort in the bowels.
  • Managing these complications often necessitates a collaborative effort involving multiple healthcare professionals and close monitoring:
  • The complications associated with sclerosing mesenteritis are best tackled through timely interventions from medical professionals and diligent monitoring.
  • Early diagnosis and proper treatment of complications in this group are critical to improving the overall quality of life for those affected.

Research and future directions

Researchers are continuously trying to understand the mechanisms behind sclerosing mesenteritis and develop more effective treatment protocols. The ongoing focus encompasses various critical domains aimed at enhancing understanding and management:

Causative Factors Investigation: Researchers try to identify the specific triggers or factors that cause sclerosing mesenteritis. Studies look at genetic, environmental, and immune-related factors that may contribute to major roles in the beginning of this condition.

Targeted Therapies Development: There are promising areas of research, including the development of precise therapies specifically targeted to treat inflammatory processes involved with sclerosing mesenteritis. Scientists are looking into treatments and interventions that specifically aim at targeting the immune system’s reaction to reduce inflammation but with a low chance of causing side effects ².

Enhanced Imaging Techniques: Advanced MRI sequences and specific CT protocols are being refined to achieve better performances. These improvements are focused on providing a clearer and more accurate visualisation of the affected mesentery, leading to early diagnosis.

Biomarker Identification: Researchers seek to distinguish definite biological markers or biomarkers for sclerosing mesenteritis. These markers might help in early diagnosis, track the course of disease, and predict responses to various treatments. Studies have been conducted on blood tests, imaging findings, and other measurable indicators associated with the condition.

Clinical Trials and Patient-Centered Research: Clinical trials, which are ongoing, assess how effective and safe the different treatments, including new medications and therapeutic interventions, have been. At the same time, patient-centred research focuses on knowing the lived experiences, struggles, and needs of patients afflicted with sclerosing mesenteritis. This approach aims to customize support systems, educational resources, and comprehensive care strategies to improve patient's overall well-being and quality of life.³


Understanding sclerosing mesenteritis is pivotal for timely management and care. By imparting knowledge about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments, this insight encourages seeking medical advice for an improved quality of life.


Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare inflammatory condition characterized by an infection and fibrous tissue growth in the connective framework system of the mesentery, which connects the intestines to the abdominal wall. Although the exact causes behind this inflammatory process are not yet established, it results in a lot of uncomfortable symptoms and disturbances to normal mesenteric function.

The situation complicates diagnosis as the condition is unclear and many of its symptoms may be diverse, causing difficulties when diagnosing or managing it. Symptoms that differ in intensity and appearance among the people affected include abdominal pain, changed bowel habits, bloating, and unintentional weight loss.

Diagnosis usually consists of several procedures, including reviews and analysis of medical history, physical tests, imagining test results, and often biopsies if necessary for confirmation. Treatment strategies focus on relieving symptoms, reducing inflammation, and promoting overall health involving the use of drugs medications, dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes. It is necessary to follow up.

Complications like bowel obstruction, chronic pain, malabsorption, and disturbances in the function of a bowl may occur, having far-reaching effects on an individual’s quality of life. The prognosis is unpredictable because it depends on the severity of inflammation, treatment response, and the presence or absence of complications.


What causes sclerosing mesenteritis?

The cause of sclerosing mesenteritis is not well understood. Research shows that autoimmune conditions, infections or abdominal trauma can be contributing factors. However, no definitive causative factors have yet been identified.

How Is sclerosing mesenteritis diagnosed?

Diagnosis usually includes a comprehensive review of medical history, physical examination along with imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs that help visualize any changes in the abdomen, and sometimes a small biopsy to confirm.

What are the available treatment options for sclerosing mesenteritis?

Treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and inflammation. It is often addressed by the use of various medications, which include corticosteroids, immunomodulators, dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments, and constant monitoring to determine how effective treatment is.

Does sclerosing mesenteritis lead to permanent complications?

The complications are possible but only in severe cases or if untreated, sclerosing mesenteritis may result in bowel obstruction, chronic pain, malabsorption, and disruption of the normal function of the intestine all of these have adverse effects on the quality of life for a person.

Is there a specific group of patients at risk for sclerosing mesenteritis?

While sclerosing mesenteritis can affect anyone, it is typically seen in middle-aged to older people. Moreover, people with a prehistory of autoimmune diseases or certain infections may be at increased risk. Prognosis varies widely among individuals. Some have stable, mild symptoms, while others constantly struggle because of chronic inflammation. Risk factors associated with prognosis include the degree of inflammation, treatment response, and presence of complications.

Research continued to address target therapeutic development aimed at controlling inflammation through advanced imaging techniques of precise diagnosis biomarker identification for early detection clinical trials conducting more effective treatment options.


  1. 1. Green MS, Chhabra R, Goyal H. Sclerosing mesenteritis: A comprehensive clinical review. Annals of Translational Medicine. 2018 Sept;6(17):336–336. doi:10.21037/atm.2018.07.01 
  2. Harvin G, Graham A. Sclerosing mesenteritis: A rare cause of small bowel obstruction. Case Reports in Gastroenterology. 2016 Apr 11;10(1):67–71. doi:10.1159/000444413 
  3. Sharawi S, Graffeo V, Goebel LJ. Sclerosing mesenteritis: A rare cause of abdominal pain. Cureus. 2022 Aug 30; doi:10.7759/cureus.28573 
  4. Klasen J, Güller U, Muff B, Candinas D, Seiler CA, Fahrner R. Treatment options for spontaneous and postoperative sclerosing mesenteritis. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2016;8(11):761. doi:10.4240/wjgs.v8.i11.761 

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Nurah Ekhlaque

Masters in Biotechnology, Guru Ghasidas University

I'm a highly motivated and skilled biotechnology professional, known for my strong background in research and laboratory work. My proficiency extends to cryosectioning, immunohistochemistry, confocal imaging, and various molecular biology techniques. I am detail-oriented and dedicated to consistently producing high-quality results.

My educational journey led me to a Master's degree in Biotechnology from Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, India. This academic foundation, combined with my practical experience, fuels my commitment to advancing scientific research and improving human health.

My practical experience includes roles as a Research Assistant at Saarland University in Germany and as an Internship Research Trainee at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. In these positions, I mastered the use of cryosectioning, immunohistochemistry, and various laboratory techniques, consistently delivering high-quality data for scientific research.

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