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February 1974

Mesenteric CystsA Review

Author Affiliations

Harrisburg, Pa
From the Department of Surgery, Polyclinic Hospital, Harrisburg, Pa.

Arch Surg. 1974;108(2):242-246. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350260094024

"Cysts of the mesentery are among the surgical rarities," stated Berkeley Moynihan in 1897.1 McKeown et al2 believed that mesenteric cysts are medical curiosities of historic interest only. Mesenteric cysts are indeed rare, and have been omitted from some surgical textbooks. However, the subject deserves more consideration because of the very fact that the cysts are frequently overlooked. Consequently, inappropriate treatment and late diagnoses are common in the management of mesenteric cysts. The medical history and physical examination findings are seldom characteristic. Roentgenograms are generally suggestive and may lead to the diagnosis, which is made most frequently at surgery.3 This review of the literature is presented in order to provide a complete, informative picture of mesentery cysts, thereby alerting the clinician to them as potential diagnostic entities.

Historical Background and Incidence  The historical background of mesenteric cysts is divided into three periods1 (Table 1). The first

Moynihan BGA:  Mesenteric cysts . Ann Surg 26:1-29, 1897.
McKeown MJ, et al:  Mesenteric cysts: A diagnostic conundrum . Northwest Med 65:748-750, 1966.
Oh C, et al:  Chylous cysts of mesentery . Arch Surg 94:790-793, 1967.Article
Ford JR:  Mesenteric cyst: Review of the literature with a report of an unusual case . Am J Surg 99:878-883, 1960.Article
Hardin WJ, Hardy JD:  Mesenteric cysts . Am J Surg 119:640-645, 1970.Article
Bearhs OH, Judd ES, Dockerty MB:  Chylous cyst of the abdomen . Surg Clin North Am 30:1081-1096, 1950.
Gross RE: The Surgery of Infancy & Childhood . Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1953, pp 377-383.
Guthrie RF, Wakefield EG:  Mesenteric cysts . Proc Staff Meet Mayo Clin 18:52-58, 1953.
Vaughn AM, Lees WM, Henry JW:  Mesenteric cysts . Surgery 23:306-317, 1948.
Sanchez RE, et al:  Mesenteric cysts: A review and report of four cases . Am Surg 36:378-382, 1970.
Burnett WE, Rosemund GP, Bucher RM:  Mesenteric cysts . Arch Surg 60:699-705, 1950.Article
Hardin WJ, et al:  Hemorrhagic mesenteric cyst simulating an acute abdomen . Am J Surg 33:733-735, 1967.
Fahmy A, et al:  Mesenteric cyst presenting as an acute surgical abdomen: Case report . Am Surg 32:654-656, 1966.
Neuhauser EBD:  Intraperitoneal cyst . Postgrad Med 46:65-67, 1969.