Lymphadenitis is a condition in which your lymph nodes — tissues that help your body fight off illness — become inflamed. Mesenteric lymphadenitis (mez-un-TER-ik lim-fad-uh-NIE-tis) is an inflammation of the lymph nodes in the membrane that attaches your intestine (bowel) to your abdominal wall (mesentery). Mesenteric lymphadenitis usually results from an intestinal infection.
The mesentery connects the bowel to the abdominal cavity. It also limits the movement of the intestines in the abdominal cavity. If not for the mesentery, the bowel likely would more frequently twist upon itself, causing obstruction.
Mesenteric lymphadenitis often mimics the signs and symptoms of appendicitis. Unlike appendicitis, however, mesenteric lymphadenitis is seldom serious and clears on its own.