Small bowel (small intestine)
Benign tumors and tumor-like conditions
Idiopathic retractile mesenteritis

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 19 February 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Idiopathic retractile mesenteritis

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Idiopathic retractile mesenteritis. website. Accessed March 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare, idiopathic, nonneoplastic condition usually affecting small bowel, which can cause thickening and shortening of mesentery
  • Also called mesenteric panniculitis
  • Usually men age 40+, associated with intestinal obstruction but no other systemic symptoms
  • Despite some reports, not strongly associated with trauma or surgery (World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:6139)
Case reports
Clinical images

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Small bowel obstruction from area of localized thickening

Gross images

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Colon (sigmoid): normal mucosa with wall thickening

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Fibrosis, fat necrosis, chronic inflammation, variable focal calcification
  • Minimal atypia or mitotic figures
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Various images