Which lab studies are used in the workup of mesenteric lymphadenitis?

Updated: Jan 05, 2017
  • Author: Alan S Putrus, MBChB; Chief Editor: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS  more...
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The following laboratory studies may aid in the evaluation of patients with suspected mesenteric lymphadenitis:

  • Complete blood cell (CBC) count: Leucocytosis is present, with white blood cells (WBCs) exceeding 10,000/µL occurs in at least 50% of cases.

  • Chemistry panel: Findings are generally within reference ranges, except in patients with severe nausea and vomiting who may present with metabolic alkalosis and azotemia.

  • Serology can be supportive in diagnosis of etiologic agents such as Y enterocolitica. Serologic tests tend to be delayed, and several antigens may have to be tested.

  • Urinalysis may be useful to perform when the diagnosis is unclear and to exclude urinary tract infection.

  • In patients who present with diarrheal symptoms, stool cultures should be performed.

  • Blood culture: This is performed prior to prescribing antibiotics and in patients who have features of septicemia. Isolation of the organism from blood, lymph nodes, or other body fluids will help define appropriate therapy and guide further evaluation.

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