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Int J Surg Pathol. 2009 Jun;17(3):231-7. doi: 10.1177/1066896909332728. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis of the appendix.

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  • 1Histopathology Department, Dubai Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Diverticulosis of the appendix is a relatively rare pathological finding. The majority are acquired pseudodiverticula. True congenital diverticula are very rare. Appendiceal diverticulosis is usually an incidental finding and clinically asymptomatic. When symptomatic, it is usually complicated by acute or chronic diverticulitis with or without acute appendicitis. It presents with atypical abdominal signs and symptoms, mostly in adult males. Appendiceal diverticulitis is a distinct entity with several clinical and pathological differences from acute appendicitis. It has a more rapid progression to perforation and a higher rate of mortality. Therefore, appendiceal diverticulitis should be considered in the clinical differential diagnosis, especially in adult males with chronic abdominal pain. Appendiceal diverticulosis demonstrates a significant association with obstructing or incidental appendiceal neoplasms. It may play an important role in the development of pseudomyxoma peritonei, which is associated with appendiceal mucinous tumors. Therefore, meticulous gross examination and thorough histological examination of the entire appendicectomy specimen are essential. When discovered either by preoperative radiological investigations or during an exploratory operation, prophylactic appendicectomy is advocated to prevent the risk of complications and to rule out the possibility of a coexisting neoplasm.

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