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In 1924, mesenteric panniculitis was first described in the medical literature by Jura et al. as ‘retractile mesenteritis.’ It represents a spectrum of disease processes characterized by degeneration, inflammation and scarring of the adipose tissue of the mesentery. The clinical presentations vary according to the stage of the disease and they include abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea and vomiting. Computed tomography findings are usually diagnostic. The gross findings include thickening of the mesentery, mass lesions and adhesion to the surrounding organs. Histologically, there is a chronic inflammatory process involving the adipose tissue with fat necrosis, inflammation and fibrosis. Herein, the authors address the clinicopathological features, course, treatment and pathogenetic mechanisms of mesenteric panniculitis.