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December 1952

ACUTE NONSPECIFIC MESENTERIC LYMPHADENITIS: Possible Mechanism of Pain Illustrated by Two Cases

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Surg. 1952;65(6):906-911. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260020900016

ACUTE nonspecific mesenteric lymphadenitis is a common cause of pain in the abdomen of children. Notwithstanding Aird's1 plea, made in 1945, for a wider recognition of this condition, it is still infrequently diagnosed; this is probably due to the fact that despite a typical clinical picture and a constant macroscopical pathology the etiology of the lesion is unknown.

Accurate diagnosis can be achieved in a large percentage of cases provided there is a clear conception of the condition. Aird1 stated: "A considerable number of children in whom a diagnosis of non-specific adenitis has been made in the outpatient department were not admitted, but were confidently allowed to go home."

AGE INCIDENCE  Acute mesenteric lymphadenitis occurs most commonly between the ages of 3 and 15 years, with a peak incidence at both extremities of this age group. It is in the younger patients—3 to 6 years—that the greatest difficulty

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