Home > Health A – Z > Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis

Inflammation of one or more pouches or sacs that bulge out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon. Symptoms include muscle spasms and cramps in the abdomen.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Diverticulitis in the Colon

Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed, or irritated and swollen, and infected. Diverticular bleeding occurs when a small blood vessel within the wall of a diverticulum bursts.

Diverticulitis with mild symptoms and no complications usually requires a person to rest, take oral antibiotics, and be on a liquid diet for a period of time.

Diverticulitis can attack suddenly and cause complications, such as an abscess, a perforation, peritonitis, a fistula, or intestinal obstruction. These complications need to be treated to prevent them from getting worse and causing serious illness.

More on diverticulosis, diverticulitis and diverticular disease.... NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antibiotics for uncomplicated diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition with inflammation of big bowel herniations termed diverticulae. Diverticulae are common in the elderly above age 70 and usually do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases inflammation cause a condition, diverticulitis, with pain in the abdomen and signs of infection like fever. Diverticulitis causes no complications in most cases, however, some develop complications and need surgery. The uncomplicated diverticulitis is the focus of this review. It has traditionally been viewed as an infection with bacterial overgrowth in the big bowel and has therefore been treated with antibiotics. We aimed to investigate if there existed any clinical research, evidence, on the effects of antibiotics for uncomplicated diverticulitis in this review.

Acute colonic diverticulitis: a systematic review of diagnostic accuracy

OBJECTIVE: To appraise the literature on the diagnosis of acute colonic diverticulitis by ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), barium enema (BE) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Use of antibiotics in uncomplicated diverticulitis

BACKGROUND: The value of antibiotics in the treatment of acute uncomplicated left-sided diverticulitis is not well established. The aim of this review was to assess whether or not antibiotics contribute to the (uneventful) recovery from acute uncomplicated left-sided diverticulitis, and which types of antibiotic and route of administration are most effective.

See all (48)

Summaries for consumers

Antibiotics for uncomplicated diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition with inflammation of big bowel herniations termed diverticulae. Diverticulae are common in the elderly above age 70 and usually do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases inflammation cause a condition, diverticulitis, with pain in the abdomen and signs of infection like fever. Diverticulitis causes no complications in most cases, however, some develop complications and need surgery. The uncomplicated diverticulitis is the focus of this review. It has traditionally been viewed as an infection with bacterial overgrowth in the big bowel and has therefore been treated with antibiotics. We aimed to investigate if there existed any clinical research, evidence, on the effects of antibiotics for uncomplicated diverticulitis in this review.

[Transparent Cap Colonoscopy versus Standard Colonoscopy to Improve Caecal Intubation]

Fourteen randomised controlled trials were included in the review comparing Colonoscopy with the Transparent Cap with Standard Colonoscopy in the investigation of gastrointestinal tract conditions. The findings of our work suggest that there is improvement in time to caecal intubation (which indicates that the colonoscopy is complete) when using the transparent cap compared with standard colonoscopy, although this is not statistically significant. We conclude that further research is required to assess the clinical significance of this result, especially considering that there have been no adverse events noted.]

Short‐term benefits for laparoscopic colorectal resection

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in industrialised countries, in both female and male persons. Treatment involves surgical removal (resection) of the segment of the bowel containing the tumor and wide tumorfree margins. Lymph nodes in the area are also removed (lymphadendectomy). conventional surgery which is the mainstream treatment of colorectal cancer and has good survival rates for stage‐1 tumors. Other diseases that can require removal of sections of the large bowel include inflammatory diseases such as diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and rectal prolapse.

See all (5)

Terms to know

Abscess
An enclosed collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces in the body. An abscess is a sign of infection and is usually swollen and inflamed.
Colon (Bowel)
The longest part of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus.
Diverticulum
A small pouch or sac that bulges out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon.
Fistula
An abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body. Fistulas may be caused by injury, infection, or inflammation, or may be created during surgery.
Intestines
Also called the gut. See large intestine and small intestine.
Perforation
A hole in the wall of an organ.
Peritonitis
Inflammation of the peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen). Peritonitis can result from infection, injury, or certain diseases. Symptoms may include swelling of the abdomen, severe pain, and weight loss.

More about Diverticulitis

Photo of an adult

See Also: Diverticulosis

Other terms to know: See all 7
Abscess, Colon (Bowel), Diverticulum

Keep up with systematic reviews on Diverticulitis:

RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...