BENEVIENI in 1507 described the first mesenteric cyst, which he observed at autopsy. During the subsequent years scattered reports appeared in the literature, of which an excellent review was made by Warfield1 in 1932. He estimated that some five hundred mesenteric cysts had been reported. He made no attempt to classify them.
The first definite classification of these cysts was attempted by Dowd2 in 1900, who proposed three groups, namely, embryonic, hydatid and cystic malignant disease. Most investigators have stated the opinion that mesenteric cysts are embryonic in origin. Various classifications have been offered by such authors as Snyder,3 Nye and Wilkins,4 Roller,5 Hueper,6 Peterson,7 Carter8 and Lahey and Eckerson.9 Of these various authors, the classification presented by Peterson (table) seems complete and satisfactory.
Higgins and Lloyd10 stated that true mesenteric cysts occur in or near the mesentery and possess