Sclerosing mesenteritis presenting with small bowel obstruction and subsequent retroperitoneal fibrosis.

Research paper by Chung S CS Lim, Gurpreet G Singh Ranger, Saket S Tibrewal, Bhautesh B Jani, Taleb A TA Jeddy, Kevin K Lafferty

Indexed on: 14 Nov '06Published on: 14 Nov '06Published in: European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology


Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare inflammatory disease of the bowel mesentery of unknown aetiology. It poses a diagnostic challenge for clinicians, as it can be mistaken for malignancy. We report a case of sclerosing mesenteritis initially presented with abdominal pain, tender abdominal mass and small bowel obstruction. Emergency laparotomy revealed fibrous thickening of the small bowel mesentery mimicking small bowel lymphoma. An ileo-ileal bypass procedure was performed. Six months later, the patient developed retroperitoneal fibrosis, manifesting as bilateral obstructive uropathy. Our case is unique, as it describes retroperitoneal fibrosis developing in a patient with small bowel retractile mesenteritis, with no evidence of colonic or other anatomical involvement. Furthermore, the patient had no risk factors for this condition. We conclude that the presence of sclerosing mesenteritis should cue clinicians to search for other coexisting inflammatory disorders that can have serious sequelae.