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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2001 Jul;177(1):85-9.

Killian-Jamieson diverticula: radiographic findings in 16 patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, MRI Bldg. 1, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.



The purpose of this study was to reassess the findings of Killian-Jamieson diverticula (i.e., proximal lateral cervical diverticula) on pharyngoesophagograms and to compare the prevalence, clinical findings, and radiographic findings of Killian-Jamieson diverticula with those of Zenker's diverticulum.


A computerized search of radiology files revealed 16 patients with Killian-Jamieson diverticula and 26 patients with a Zenker's diverticulum. The double-contrast pharyngoesophagograms and medical records were reviewed retrospectively.


Only three (19%) of 16 patients with Killian-Jamieson diverticula had symptoms attributable to the diverticula (suprasternal dysphagia in two and cough in one), and none had aspiration pneumonia. In contrast, 16 (62%) of 26 patients with a Zenker's diverticulum had suprasternal dysphagia and three patients (12%) had aspiration pneumonia. Twenty Killian-Jamieson diverticula were detected on pharyngoesophagograms in 16 patients, including 12 (75%) with unilateral left-sided diverticula and four (25%) with bilateral diverticula. The Killian-Jamieson diverticula had an average maximal dimension of 1.4 cm. Zenker's diverticulum was nearly four times as common as Killian-Jamieson diverticula and had an average maximal dimension of 2.5 cm. Three patients (11%) with a Zenker's diverticulum had reflux of barium from the diverticula into the hypopharynx with overflow aspiration. Finally, gastroesophageal reflux was detected in nearly twice as many patients with a Zenker's diverticulum as with Killian-Jamieson diverticula.


Killian-Jamieson diverticula are less common and smaller than Zenker's diverticulum. Killian-Jamieson diverticula are less likely to cause symptoms and are less likely to be associated with overflow aspiration or gastroesophageal reflux than is Zenker's diverticulum.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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