Limited systemic sclerosis initially presenting with mesenteric panniculitis.

Research paper by Mariangelí M Arroyo-Ávila, Luis M LM Vilá

Indexed on: 19 Oct '14Published on: 19 Oct '14Published in: BMJ case reports


Mesenteric panniculitis pertains to a group of uncommon disorders named sclerosing mesenteritis that present with different levels of inflammation and fibrosis of the small bowel mesentery. It is associated with abdominal surgeries, trauma, malignancies, infections and connective tissue diseases. To the best of our knowledge, no cases of sclerosing mesenteritis have been reported in patients with systemic sclerosis. We present a case of a 61-year-old woman who had incidental CT findings of mesenteric panniculitis. Diagnosis was confirmed by biopsy that showed fat necrosis. On further review she had a 1-year history of Raynaud's phenomenon. Physical examination showed sclerodactyly. She had elevated anticentromere antibodies and skin biopsy was consistent with scleroderma. She was diagnosed with limited systemic sclerosis and was treated with D-penicillamine. After 6 years of follow-up, the mesenteric panniculitis and systemic sclerosis both remained stable. This case highlights the importance of considering rheumatic diseases in the differential diagnosis of sclerosing mesenteritis.