Mesenteric, omental, and retroperitoneal edema in cirrhosis: Frequency and spectrum of CT findings

Shallendra Chopra, Gerald D. Dodd, Kedar N. Chintapalli, Christine C. Esola, Abraham A. Ghlatas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the frequency and CT imaging spectrum of mesenteric, omental, and retroperitoneal edema in patients with cirrhosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty patients were identified with liver cirrhosis and no other cause of edema. Five radiologists jointly reviewed the abdominal CT scans of these patients to assess, by majority decision, the presence, severity, distribution, and configuration of mesenteric edema and the presence of omental and retroperitoneal edema. Subcutaneous edema, ascites, pleural effusion, splenomegaly, varices, portal venous thrombosis, and serum albumin levels were also documented. RESULTS: Mesenteric edema was present in 69 (86%) patients. Mesenteric edema occurred alone in 26 (38%) and with omental or retroperitoneal edema in 40 (58%) of the 69 patients with edema. No patient had omental or retroperitoneal edema alone. Mesenteric edema was mild in 51 (74%) and moderate to severe in 18 (26%), patchy in 47 (68%) and diffuse in 22 (32%), purely infiltrative in 60 (87%) and infiltrative with superimposed masslike noduled in nine (13%) patients. These parameters had significant associations among themselves and with ascites, pleural effusions, subcutaneous edema, and low mean serum albumin levels but not with splenomegaly or varices. CONCLUSION: Mesenteric, omental, and retroperitoneal edema occur commonly in patients with cirrhosIs. The appearance of mesenteric edema varies from a mild infiltrative haze to a severe masslike sheath that engulfs the mesenteric vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-742
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Abdomen, CT
  • Abdomen, abnormalities
  • Liver, cirrhosis
  • Mesentery Omentum
  • Retroperitoneal space, fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Mesenteric, omental, and retroperitoneal edema in cirrhosis: Frequency and spectrum of CT findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this