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Rev Prat. 1995 Apr 15;45(8):973-7.

[Abscess, fistula and occlusion of colonic diverticulosis].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de chirurgie générale et digestive, Hôpital Broussais, Paris.


Diverticular disease is generally benign but may be serious in case of septic complications. The most common complication of acute diverticulitis is development of an abscess which can be located around the colon or in the pelvis. The diagnosis can be clinically suspected in case of non-response to medical management of severe acute diverticulitis. Confirmation is obtained by conventional radiographic examinations and computerized tomography. This condition can be safely treated by percutaneous catheter drainage associated to antibiotics followed by an elective delayed single-stage operation without colostomy. Fistula occurs in 20% of the patients who undergo surgery for diverticular disease. Colovesical fistula is the most common type of spontaneous internal fistula. Routine evaluation may raise the suspicion of complication. Surgical management requires colonic resection and primary anastomosis. Complete obstruction secondary to diverticular disease is uncommon and generally resolves with conservative management. However, some degree of ileus is frequent secondary to inflammatory changes of diverticulitis but should imperatively be differentiated from ileus observed in case of generalized peritonitis.

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