Course of acute nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis: single-center experience

Cecilia Benetti, Elisa Conficconi, Flurim Hamitaga, Marina Wyttenbach, Sebastiano A G Lava, Gregorio P Milani, Mario G Bianchetti, Giacomo D Simonetti, Rossana Helbling
European Journal of Pediatrics 2018, 177 (2): 243-246

Available reports dealing with acute nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis do not address the total duration of symptoms. However, it is commonly assumed a time for recovery ≤ 4 weeks. The purpose of this report was to investigate the course of acute nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis in childhood. A review was made of the patients aged ≤ 16 years in whom the diagnosis of acute nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis was established between 2011 and 2015 at the Pediatric Emergency Unit. The records of the Pediatric Emergency Unit, those of the referring family doctors, and the results of a structured telephone interview with each family were used. Forty-four patients (25 girls and 19 boys) aged 2.5 to 16, median 8.2, years were included. A bimodal distribution in duration of symptoms was observed: symptoms persisted for ≤ 2 weeks in 22 patients and 3 to 10 weeks in 22. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were similar in children with symptoms persisting for 2 weeks or less 28 and in those with symptoms persisting for 3-10 weeks.

CONCLUSION: In patients affected with acute nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis, it is advantageous to think of the time span for recovery in terms of ≥ 4 weeks. What is Known: • Mesenteric adenitis is a self-limiting inflammatory condition with well-characterized clinical presentation and imaging features. • A total duration of symptoms of ≤ 4 weeks is usually hypothesized. What is New: • Symptoms persist for 3 to 10 weeks in half of the patients. • At presentation, clinical and laboratory characteristics are similar in children with symptoms persisting for 2 weeks or less and in those with 45 symptoms persisting for 3-10 weeks.

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