Mesenteric Panniculitis (Isolated Lipodystrophy of the Mesentery, or Retractile Mesenteritis, or Sclerosing Mesenteritis)
Mesenteric panniculitis is a rare disorder characterized grossly by a diffuse, localized, or multinodular fibrofatty thickening of the mesentery of the small and/or large bowel.
The etiology of mesenteric panniculitis is unclear, and infection, trauma, ischemia, autoimmune disorders, and a history of previous abdominal surgery have been suggested as causative factors (Walls et al. 1986).
Focal or diffuse changes are observed in the mesentery. When diffuse, the mesenteric fat is traversed by low-signal-intensity strands on T1-weighted images. In the focal form, heterogeneous nodular masses of fat necrosis are noted (Katz et al. 1985).