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Radiographics. 2001 Nov-Dec;21(6):1475-90.

Root of the small-bowel mesentery: correlative anatomy and CT features of pathologic conditions.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Oita Medical University, Hasama-machi, Oita 879-5593, Japan.


The root of the small-bowel mesentery (SBM) is an important peritoneal fold that is contiguous to other peritoneal ligaments and mesocolons. Several pathologic conditions can occur in the SBM itself, and diseases that spread through the connections from adjacent organs frequently involve it. The root of the SBM is contiguous to the hepatoduodenal ligament around the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) and contiguous to the right side of the transverse mesocolon around the gastrocolic trunk. The inferior mesenteric vein, which is a landmark of the descending mesocolon, runs along the left side of the root of the SBM. Malignant neoplasms can spread to the SBM by means of direct extension, extension along the neural plexus, extension along neighboring ligaments, or extension along lymphatic vessels. Inflammatory conditions such as pancreatitis and perforation of a jejunal diverticulum can also spread to the SBM. Anomalies that can occur in the SBM include rotation anomalies and internal hernia. Vascular lesions of the SBM include thrombosis of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA), acute SMV thrombosis, SMA dissection, arterioportal fistula, and portal venous gas. Other pathologic conditions that can occur in the SBM are edema or congestion, mesenteric tear, mesenteric panniculitis, and tumors or tumorlike lesions.

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