How is mesenteric lymphadenitis diagnosed?

The doctor will perform a physical exam and obtain the child’s medical history to learn what other medical issues the child has had. The doctor may also order tests; for example, a blood test can confirm an infection and identify what type it is.

Because there are a large number of lymph nodes in the same area as the appendix (the right lower abdomen), symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis are similar to those of appendicitis (inflamed appendix). Your doctor may use imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to rule out appendicitis, which is a medical emergency.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/18/2018.


  • Helbling R, Conficconi, Wyttenbach M, et al. Acute Nonspecific Mesenteric Lymphadenitis: More Than “No Need for Surgery.” Biomed Res Int. 2017; 2017: 9784565. Published online 2017 Feb 2. doi: 10.1155/2017/9784565
  • Omics International. Mesenteric Lymphadenitis. Accessed 9/21/2018.
  • Reust C, Williams A. Acute Abdominal Pain in Children. Am Fam Physician. 2016 May 15;93(10):830-837.

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