Learn About Retroperitoneal Inflammation

What is the definition of Retroperitoneal Inflammation?

Retroperitoneal inflammation causes swelling that occurs in the retroperitoneal space. Over time, it can lead to a mass behind the abdomen called retroperitoneal fibrosis.

The retroperitoneal space is in front of the lower back and behind the abdominal lining (peritoneum). Organs in this space include the:

  • Kidneys
  • Lymph nodes
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Ureters
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What are the alternative names for Retroperitoneal Inflammation?


What are the causes of Retroperitoneal Inflammation?

Retroperitoneal inflammation and fibrosis is a rare condition. There is no clear cause in about 70% of cases. It most likely develops due to inflammation of the abdominal aortic artery.

Conditions that can rarely lead to this include:

  • Abdominal radiation therapy for cancer
  • Cancer -- bladder, breast, colon, lymphoma, prostate, sarcoma
  • Carcinoid
  • Crohn disease
  • Infections -- tuberculosis, histoplasmosis
  • Certain medicines, such as methysergide, ergotamine, pergolide, methyldopa, etanercept and infliximab
  • Surgery of structures in the retroperitoneum
What are the symptoms of Retroperitoneal Inflammation?

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Flank pain
  • Low back pain
  • Malaise
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What are the current treatments for Retroperitoneal Inflammation?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of retroperitoneal inflammation and fibrosis.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Retroperitoneal Inflammation?

How well you do with the condition depends on the underlying cause. It can lead to kidney failure.

Digestive system organs
What are the latest Retroperitoneal Inflammation Clinical Trials?
A Prospective Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Cyclophosphamide in the Treatment of Idiopathic Retroperitoneal Fibrosis

Summary: This prospective, interventional, controlled study is aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cyclophosphamide in the treatment of idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis, which refers to the chronic nonspecific inflammation of retroperitoneal fascia and adipose tissue that gradually evolves into fibroproliferative disease.

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Dual-scopic Pancreatic Necrosectomy (DPN): Laparoscopic Pancreatic Necrosectomy (LPN) and Nephroscopic Pancreatic Necrosectomy (NPN)

Summary: The LPN procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The transperitoneal access to peripancreatic space is via the gastro-colic ligament and greater omentum, effusion and pus is removed by laparoscopic forceps and suction. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is performed during the LPN procedure on patients with indication. The NPN procedure is followed by the standard retroperitoneal approach. ...

What are the Latest Advances for Retroperitoneal Inflammation?
Spontaneous large liver haematoma with extensive intraperitoneal bleeding in a patient with COVID-19 infection.
Simultaneous endoscopic and video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement in walled-off pancreatic necrosis using a laparoscopic access platform: Two case reports.
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Effects of canagliflozin and metformin on insulin resistance and visceral adipose tissue in people with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 11, 2020
Published By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Mathews JB, Turaga K. Surgical peritonitis and other diseases of the peritoneum, mesentery, omentum, and diaphragm. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 39.

McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 123.

Mettler FA, Guiberteau MJ. Inflammation and infection imaging. In: Mettler FA, Guiberteau MJ, eds. Essentials of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 12.

Privratsky AM, Barreto JC, Turnage RH. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 44.