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Gastroenterol Nurs. 2018 Mar/Apr;41(2):111-119. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000307.

Diverticular Disease: Traditional and Evolving Paradigms.

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Lenore Lamanna, EdD, RN, ANP-BC, is with Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York; and is Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate Studies in Advanced Practice Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Gastroenterology Associates of Suffolk, Smithtown, New York. Patricia E. Moran, DNP, RN, ANP-C, is with Stony Brook University, New York; and is Clinical Assistant Professor, Graduate Studies in Advanced Practice Nursing.


Diverticular disease includes diverticulosis, which are sac protrusions of the intestinal mucosa, and diverticulitis, inflammation of the diverticula. Diverticular disease is listed as one of the top 10 leading physician diagnoses for gastrointestinal disorders in outpatient clinic visits in the United States. There are several classifications of diverticular disease ranging from asymptomatic diverticulosis to diverticulitis with complications. Several theories are linked to the development of diverticula which includes the physiology of the colon itself, collagen cross-linking, and recently challenged, low-fiber intake. The differential diagnoses of lower abdominal pain in addition to diverticular disease have overlapping signs and symptoms, which can make a diagnosis challenging. Identification of the distinct signs and symptoms of each classification will assist the practitioner in making the correct diagnosis and lead to appropriate management. The findings from recent studies have changed the paradigm of diverticular disease. The purpose of this article is to discuss traditional dogma and evolving concepts in the pathophysiology, prevention, and management of diverticular disease. Practitioners must be knowledgeable about diverticular disease for improved outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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