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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep 14;18(34):4714-20.

Perforated midgut diverticulitis: revisited.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Vestfold Hospital, 3103 Tonsberg, Norway.



To study and provide data on the evolution of medical procedures and outcomes of patients suffering from perforated midgut diverticulitis.


Three data sources were used: the Medline and Google search engines were searched for case reports on one or more patients treated for perforated midgut diverticulitis (Meckel's diverticulitis excluded) that were published after 1995. The inclusion criterion was sufficient individual patient data in the article. Both indexed and non-indexed journals were used. Patients treated for perforated midgut diverticulitis at Vestfold Hospital were included in this group. Data on symptoms, laboratory and radiology results, treatment modalities, surgical access, procedures, complications and outcomes were collected. The Norwegian patient registry was searched to find patients operated upon for midgut diverticulitis from 1999 to 2007. The data collected were age, sex, mode of access, surgical procedure performed and number of patients per year. Historical controls were retrieved from an article published in 1995 containing pertinent individual patient data. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS software.


Group I: 106 patients (48 men) were found. Mean age was 72.2 ± 13.1 years (mean ± SD). Age or sex had no impact on outcomes (P = 0.057 and P = 0.771, respectively). Preoperative assessment was plain radiography in 53.3% or computed tomography (CT) in 76.1%. Correct diagnosis was made in 77.1% with CT, 5.6% without (P = 0.001). Duration of symptoms before hospitalization was 3.6 d (range: 1-35 d), but longer duration was not associated with poor outcome (P = 0.748). Eighty-six point eight percent of patients underwent surgery, 92.4% of these through open access where 90.1% had bowel resection. Complications occurred in 19.2% of patients and 16.3% underwent reoperation. Distance from perforation to Treitz ligament was 41.7 ± 28.1 cm. At surgery, no peritonitis was found in 29.7% of patients, local peritonitis in 47.5%, and diffuse peritonitis in 22.8%. Peritonitis grade correlated with the reoperation rate (r = 0.43). Conservatively treated patients had similar hospital length of stay as operated patients (10.6 ± 8.3 d vs 10.7 ± 7.9 d, respectively). Age correlated with hospital stay (r = 0.46). No difference in outcomes for operated or nonoperated patients was found (P = 0.814). Group II: 113 patients (57 men). Mean age 67.6 ± 16.4 years (range: 21-96 years). Mean age for men was 61.3 ± 16.2 years, and 74.7 ± 12.5 years for women (P = 0.001). Number of procedures per year was 11.2 ± 0.9, and bowel resection was performed in 82.3% of patients. Group III: 47 patients (21 men). Patient age was 65.4 ± 14.4 years. Mean age for men was 61.5 ± 17.3 years and 65.3 ± 14.4 years for women. Duration of symptoms before hospitalization was 6.9 d (range: 1-180 d). No patients had a preoperative diagnosis, 97.9% of patients underwent surgery, and 78.3% had multiple diverticula. Bowel resection was performed in 67.4% of patients, and suture closure in 32.6%. Mortality was 23.4%. There was no difference in length of history or its impact on survival between Groups I and III (P = 0.241 and P = 0.198, respectively). Resection was more often performed in Group I (P = 0.01). Mortality was higher in Group III (P = 0.002).


In cases with contained perforation, conservative treatment gives satisfactory results, laparoscopy with lavage and drainage can be attempted and continued with a conservative course.


Conservative treatment; Diverticulitis; Ileum; Intestinal; Jejunum; Perforation; Small bowel

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