Mayo Clinic doctors often start with CT imaging tests of the abdomen. Correctly interpreting these images is critical to diagnosing sclerosing mesenteritis. Mayo Clinic radiologists have experience with this diagnosis.
CT images of sclerosing mesenteritis can look similar to those of other diseases that affect digestive tract membranes, such as lymphoma, carcinoid tumors or desmoid tumors. A Mayo Clinic study noted that a key difference is hardening or rigidity (calcification) in the mesentery, which is present in sclerosing mesenteritis but usually not other disorders. At Mayo Clinic, sclerosing mesenteritis images are evaluated by radiologists with special training in digestive disorders.
In many cases, tissue sample testing (biopsy) also is needed to confirm a diagnosis of sclerosing mesenteritis and to exclude other more serious disorders. Mayo Clinic pathologists are experts at making the diagnosis of sclerosing mesenteritis and excluding other conditions that can mimic it. If imaging and biopsy don't produce clear results, you may need exploratory abdominal surgery.