The mesentery in Crohn's disease: friend or foe?

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Purpose of review

This article assesses the role of the mesentery in Crohn's disease.

Recent findings

The mesentery is centrally positioned both anatomically and physiologically. Overlapping mesenteric and submucosal mesenchymal contributions are important in the pathobiology of Crohn's disease. Mesenteric contributions explain the topographic distribution of Crohn's disease in general and mucosal disease in particular. Operative strategies that are mesenteric based (i.e. mesocolic excision) may reduce rates of postoperative recurrence.


The net effect of mesenteric events in Crohn's disease is pathologic. This can be targeted by operative means.

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