Mesenteric lymphadenitis is an old subject. Bertein and Worms1 stated that Sydenham in 1723 was the first to describe enlargement of the mesenteric glands in children. Numerous excellent papers have been written on this subject since then describing the pathologic picture, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. However, the etiology has always been a questionable factor. It was because of this indefinite etiology that this study was undertaken. An attempt has been made to determine the etiologic significance of the various theories previously advocated and also to advance some new ones.
This report is based on a series of twenty-two patients in whom mesenteric lymphadenitis was found at operation at the Children's Memorial Hospital from the years 1931 to 1936 inclusive. Appendectomy was performed on all but two. The appendixes were not removed from these two because intussusception was present in one and intestinal hemorrhages had preceded the operation on the