Sonographic Findings of Mesenteric Panniculitis: Correlation with CT and Literature Review

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Purpose.To evaluate the sonographic findings of mesenteric panniculitis (MP) and correlate them with CT findings.Methods.We retrospectively evaluated the clinical, CT, and sonographic findings in 26 cases of MP in our hospital between January 1997 and July 2003. We also reviewed the sonographic features of MP previously described in the literature.Results.The sonographic findings were well correlated to CT in 24 of 26 patients (92%). In these 24 cases, abdominal sonographic examination revealed a hyperechogenic, well-defined fatty mass (corresponding to the pseudocapsule CT sign) in the root of the mesentery, displacing the bowel loops. We found a clear interface between MP and normal intra abdominal fat. Examination with color Doppler sonography revealed the nondeviated mesenteric vessels within the mass. The persence of MP improved sonographic transmission in 9 obese patients and enabled the retroperitoneal vessels to be clearly visualized. Sonography was unable to demonstrate the preservation of the fat nearest the mesenteric vessels corresponding to the “fatty halo” sign on CT.Conclusions.Sonography is useful in the diagnostic workup for MP. The characteristic sonographic features of MP (well-defined mass, homogeneous hyperechogenicity of the mass, nondeviated vessels within the mass, and displaced bowel loops) correlate well with CT findings.

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