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What Are The Risk Factors For Mesenteric Lymphadenitis?

Every disease has the risk factors which explain the occurrence of a disease in one person and the absence in another. The risk factors for mesenteric lymphadenitis are the traits, if present in the person, is at higher risk as compared to the person that do not possess those traits.

What Are The Risk Factors For Mesenteric Lymphadenitis?

The following are the most common risk factors for mesenteric lymphadenitis:

  1. Childhood: The children are more susceptible to the mesenteric lymphadenitis caused by Y enterocolitica. Children have relatively weak immune system as compared to adults and thus possess higher chances of contracting infection.
  2. Gender: Although the condition exists in children and young males and females, some studies concluded that males are at higher risk as compared to females when it comes to suffering from mesenteric lymphadenitis.
  3. Concurrent Infection: The concurrent infection plays a major role in developing the mesenteric lymphadenitis. The patients with respiratory tract infections are more vulnerable to the infection of gastrointestinal tract as compared to people without any infection.
  4. Unhygienic Environment: The causative agents of mesenteric lymphadenitis such as bacteria, fungi and virus exists in the unhygienic environment and infects the people living in these environments or those having unhygienic food habits. Thus, proper hygiene should be maintained to reduce the risk of infection.
  5. Immunosuppression: The mesenteric lymphadenitis is caused when the lymph nodes fights against the infection. Thus, people with compromised immune system are at higher risk as compared to people with normal immune system. The immune system of the patient may be compromised either due to any disease such as AIDS or due to certain drugs such as drugs used in organ transplantation.

Proper care should be taken for the people who are at higher risk such as maintaining the proper hygiene, taking antioxidants and vitamin-mineral supplements and treat any infection already present in the body.

Causes Of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

The mesenteric lymphadenitis is the condition of swollen lymph glands. The lymph glands may be swollen due to variety of reasons, the most prominent one is the infection caused due to Y. enterocolitica. Following are the reasons for mesenteric lymphadenitis:

  1. Infection: Infection is one of the primary reasons for mesenteric lymphadenitis. The bacteria, virus or fungi invade the body and the lymph node acting as a defense system fights with these pathogens. In this process the lymph nodes get swollen.
  2. Immunosuppression: Immunosuppression provides a viable environment to the pathogens to invade the body more easily and allows them to grow. In AIDS, the immune system of the body gets compromised and increases the risk of infection.
  3. Cancer: Cancers such as pancreatic cancer or gastrointestinal cancer are also the causes of mesenteric lymphadenitis.
  4. Inflammation: Various inflammations are present in the body which leads to the development of various inflammatory mediators. These mediators may also cause the mesenteric lymphadenitis. Conditions such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and pancreatitis are inflammatory conditions that cause mesenteric lymphadenitis.

Treatment For Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

Mesenteric lymphadenitis is generally a self-limiting condition. But when there is any infection or pain, the treatment is required. The treatment, in case of infection, is done through antibacterial for bacterial infection, anti-viral for viral infection and anti-fungal for fungal infection. Further, to treat the pain and inflammation, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs are used. The things may become more complicated when the moderate to severe infection remains untreated or undertreated. Apart form the normal treatment, there are also the alternative treatment available that acts as an adjuvant to the main treatment. These may include taking adequate rest, drinking sufficient amount of fluid, taking nutraceutical supplements and vitamins and minerals, and providing warm compress to the abdomen for improving circulation.


Various risk factors are defined for mesenteric lymphadenitis. These include the children who are at greater risk due to immature immune system. Further, some studies conclude that males are at higher risk as compared to females. As infection is the primary cause for mesenteric lymphadenitis, patient with concurrent infection and the compromised immune system are also at higher risk.


  1. World Journal of Gastroenterology – Mesenteric lymphadenitis: an easily missed diagnosis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110865/
  2. StatPearls – Mesenteric Lymphadenitis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470272/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 25, 2023

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