This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Sclerosing mesenteritis is one of many terms that describes a spectrum of inflammatory disorders that affect the mesentery. The mesentery is the membrane that anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall. The condition mostly affects men between their 40s and 60s, but women and children can also be affected. It may result in a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, weight loss, and fever. Some people have an abdominal mass. The cause of the condition is poorly understood. Suggested possible causes have included previous abdominal surgery or trauma, autoimmunity, paraneoplastic syndromes, ischemic injury, and infection.
Treatment depends on the symptoms in each person and may include the use of glucocorticoids, hormonal therapy (tamoxifen or progesterone), or other medications, either alone or in combination (i.e. glucocorticoids in combination with tamoxifen). Surgery may be needed for an obstruction, if present. Although there are case reports of patients with aggressive disease and fatalities, it appears that the condition usually remains stable or is slowly progessive. In some cases, the condition goes away on its own.
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