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Dis Colon Rectum. 1987 Oct;30(10):821-6.

Cecal diverticulitis. A review of the American experience.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine.


The etiology of cecal diverticulitis remains unclear. The majority of diverticula are solitary and probably false and may be the result of the same degenerative process seen in the more common left-sided diverticulosis. A minority are true diverticula and may be of congenital origin. Cecal diverticulitis is clinically indistinguishable from acute appendicitis although patients with cecal diverticulitis tend to be older (average age, 40 years), have a longer duration of symptoms, and present less often with nausea and vomiting. In patients with previous appendectomy and in those with more indolent symptoms, barium enema may be helpful in making the diagnosis. If nonoperative treatment is chosen, careful follow-up with air contrast barium enema and colonoscopy should be carried out. The majority of patients require surgery and two types of cecal diverticulitis are encountered at laparotomy. The usual type, accounting for two thirds of cases, is easy to recognize, has an inflamed projection from the cecal wall, and is dealt with by a limited local diverticulectomy. Some authors advocate nonsurgical treatment for this first group of patients. Incidental appendectomy is advocated to avoid confusion should symptoms occur postoperatively. The hidden variant presents as a large, indurated phlegmon and is difficult to distinguish from a perforated cecal carcinoma. With the hidden variant, right hemicolectomy is the surgical treatment of choice and carries a 1.4 percent mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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