Enlargement of the lymph nodes of the mesentery has been recognized since the eighteenth century. Bertein and Worms credited Sydenham with the earliest description of mesenteric tumors or enlargements in children. The term "strumous abdomen" was used during the early nineteenth century to describe the condition. "Tabes mesenterica," a term which has endured, was first introduced in 1775 by Ball.
The diagnosis of the disease during life was usually a conjecture, and it was recorded as a fact only when the disease was seen at autopsy. All necropsy observations during this early period indicated that the process was tuberculous. The condition was not commonly recognized at the beginning of the twentieth century, and was regarded as a pathologic curiosity as recently as 1905 (Branson). Mächtle, in 1909, published the first summary from the surgical literature, and only fourteen cases were recorded. The paucity of cases undoubtedly accounts for the relatively
MEAD CH. MESENTERIC LYMPHADENITIS SIMULATING ACUTE APPENDICITIS: QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF THE SIZE OF NORMAL MESENTERIC LYMPH NODES. Arch Surg. 1935;30(3):492–527. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180090123007
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