Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Mesenteric Fibrosis

Mesenteric Fibrosis – is where fibrotic strands form between tissues and organs of the small bowel and mesentery, like internal scar tissue, they connect tissues not normally connected – causing ‘gathering’ or kinking. This fibrotic process, thought to be related to excess serotonin production, can entrap loops of the small intestine and cause partial or complete intestinal obstruction and can lead to bowel ischaemia.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe:

  • They may be acute (sudden and severe) – for example : signs of bowel obstruction – increasingly severe abdominal pain/cramping associated with vomiting.
  • or chronic (occur over time and change in severity and frequency) – for example may be similar to symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease – abdominal discomfort/cramping, diarrhoea, bloating, altered bowel habit, early satiety (feeling full, even after only a few mouthfuls) and / or nausea.

Intestinal (bowel) ischaemia is a serious condition that can cause pain and make it difficult for your intestines to work properly. In severe cases, loss of blood flow to the intestines can damage tissue and possibly lead to gangrene and/or sepsis (life-threatening infection).

Although this process can develop over time (chronic), small kinks or inflammation/ cramping, can cause a sudden (acute) obstruction which needs urgent medical review – symptoms of acute obstruction and/or ischaemia include:

  • Sudden abdominal (tummy) pain that may be moderate or severe
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • An urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • Frequent, forceful bowel movements or no bowel movements at all
  • Abdominal tenderness or distention.

Severe, acute symptoms require urgent medical review.