Send to

Choose Destination
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2006 Sep;187(3):689-94.

CT and clinical features of acute diverticulitis in an urban U.S. population: rising frequency in young, obese adults.

Author information

Department of Radiology, University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 S Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201-1595, USA.



On the basis of our experience in recent years, we hypothesized that acute diverticulitis occurs more frequently in young adult patients (age, < or = 50 years) now than previously recognized. We reviewed the CT findings, clinical features, and demographic data of a cohort of patients who presented with acute diverticulitis at an urban U.S. academic medical center.


We used our hospital and radiology databases to identify 104 adult patients with both CT and clinical diagnoses of acute diverticulitis. Clinical parameters recorded included age, sex, ethnicity, in- or outpatient management, and therapy (medical treatment, percutaneous drainage, or surgery). CT studies were evaluated for the site of diverticulitis; associated complications; and the presence of abdominal obesity, as determined by measurement of sagittal abdominal diameter.


The study group was composed of 55 men and 49 women (age range, 22-88 years; mean age, 52.2 years; median age, 49.0 years). Fifty-six (53.8%) were 50 years old or younger, and 22 were 40 years old or younger. Forty-one complications were noted in 38 patients (36%). There was no significant age difference between the < or = 50 and > 50 years old age groups for hospital admission (90 patients, 86.5%), medical therapy (76, 73.1%), or surgery or percutaneous abscess drainage (28, 26.9%). Abdominal obesity measured by sagittal abdominal diameter was present in 48 (85.7%) and 37 (77%) of the < or = 50 and > 50 years old age groups, respectively. The mean sagittal abdominal diameter for patients < or = 50 years old (27.0 cm) was greater than that for patients > 50 years old (25.6 cm) (p = 0.05).


In this urban population, acute diverticulitis occurred more frequently in patients 20-50 years old than previously recognized. This group had significantly greater abdominal obesity than the older group. Severe disease requiring hospital admission, surgery, or percutaneous drainage (or both surgery and percutaneous drainage) was common in all age groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center