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Mayo Clin Proc. 2016 Aug;91(8):1094-104. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.03.012. Epub 2016 May 5.

Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Electronic address: jfeuerst@bidmc.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Diverticular disease is a common condition that is associated with variable presentations. For this review article, we performed a review of articles in PubMed through February 1, 2016, by using the following MeSH terms: colon diverticula, colonic diverticulitis, colonic diverticulosis, colonic diverticulum, colonic diverticula, and diverticula. Diverticula are structural alterations within the colonic wall that classically form "pockets" referred to as diverticula. Diverticula form from herniation of the colonic mucosa and submucosa through defects in the circular muscle layers within the colonic wall. Often this is at the sites of penetrating blood vessels in the colon. Diverticular disease is extremely common, which resulted in 2,682,168 outpatient visits and 283,355 hospitalization discharges for diverticulitis or diverticulosis in 2009. Diverticulosis is one of the most common detected conditions found incidentally on colonoscopy. Risk factors for the development of diverticulitis include obesity, smoking, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and opiates. In contrast, fiber may be protective, but recent studies have questioned the role of fiber in developing diverticular disease. Most patients with diverticulosis will be asymptomatic, but a subset of patients may develop nonspecific abdominal pain (isolated or recurrent), diverticulitis, or segmental colitis associated with diverticulosis. Classically, the treatment of diverticulitis has included antibiotics for all patients. More recent evidence indicates that in mild to even moderate uncomplicated diverticulitis, antibiotics may not be as necessary as initially believed. In more complicated diverticulitis, intravenous antibiotics and surgery may be necessary. Once a patient has had an attack of diverticulitis, increasing fiber may help prevent future attacks. Other modalities such as 5-aminosalicylate products, antibiotics, and probiotics are still of unclear benefit in preventing future episodes of diverticulitis. Similarly, even when patients develop recurrent episodes of diverticulitis, surgery may not be necessary as a prophylactic treatment.

PMID:
27156370
DOI:
10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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