Mesenteric Cyst With Intestinal Obstruction

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THE mesenteric cyst is probably the least common of all abdominal tumors. The rarity of this lesion is indicated by Keesey1 who reported only 2 cases in 200,000 admissions to a Duluth hospital. The incidence at the Cleveland Clinic during the past fourteen years has been identical: 3 proved cases from a total of 300,000 new patients examined. The first recorded case was found on autopsy in 1507 by Benevieni,2 and subsequent reports have appeared at intervals, the first successful operation and cyst removal having been performed by Tillaux in 1880.3

Numerous theories have been advanced for the origin of such cysts, with many sources implicated, such as hydatid, Meckel’s diverticulum, and mesenteric lymphatics. Some writers consider that all cysts are embryonic in origin and initiated by obstruction of existing lymphatic channels or by growth of congenitally misplaced lymphatic tissue which does not communicate with the vascular system. However, the absence of demonstrable inflammation in the mesentery of the usual case makes the theory of lymphatic trunk obstruction a less likely cause. The consensus favors the development of mesenteric cysts from misplaced bits of lymphatic tissue which proliferate and then accumulate fluid because of absence of communication with the remainder of the lymphatic system.

In the usual case the history of a gradually enlarging abdomen is obtained and the most frequent cause for hospital admission is intestinal obstruction. A case of mesenteric cyst complicated by such obstruction is presented.

Case Report

A 7 year old girl was admitted to the. . .



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