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Diverticular Disease

Diverticula are protrusions of the bowel wall occurring most commonly in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. The condition of having diverticula (called diverticulosis) is mostly asymptomatic. These diverticula can become symptomatic, however, when associated with diseases. Diverticulitis is the inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body's defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of diverticula, often presenting with lower abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen and changes in bowel habits. The condition may be further complicated by abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis, fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula, and bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis. Management consists of antibiotics, fluid resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and bowel rest. Surgery is required for complications, failure of medical management, and recurrent disease. In most cases of diverticular bleeding, spontaneous cessation occurs. Invasive intervention will be needed for persistent or recurrent bleeding.

Last updated: 8 Jan, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definitions

Diverticulosis is the presence of multiple diverticula, which are sac-like protrusions of the bowel wall.
Diverticular disease is diverticulosis with associated symptoms.

Presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor of diverticular diseases

  • Diverticulitis ( inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the diverticulum/diverticula)
  • Complications: obstruction, fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula, perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis, abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Diverticular bleeding
  • Segmental colitis Colitis Inflammation of the colon section of the large intestine, usually with symptoms such as diarrhea (often with blood and mucus), abdominal pain, and fever. Pseudomembranous Colitis associated with diverticula (SCAD)
  • Symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD)
Diverticula, sigmoid colon

Diverticulosis: image showing the large bowel ( sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy) with multiple diverticula

Image: “Large bowel ( sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy)” by Haymanj. License: Public Domain

Epidemiology

  • Colonic type is the most common diverticulosis.
  • Prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency:
    • Age-dependent:
      • < 20% at the age of 40
      • 60% by the age of 60
    • Higher in countries with a Western diet
  • Distribution varies by race/ethnic origin:
    • Overall, left-sided diverticulosis is most common in the United States.
    • African Americans: higher percentage of right-sided disease than in whites
    • Asians: Right colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy is predominantly affected.
  • About 4% of those with diverticulosis develop diverticulitis, with a 20% 5-year recurrence rate.

Risk factors

  • Diet:
    • Low fiber
    • High fat
    • Red meat
    • Seeds and nuts are not risk factors.
  • Obesity Obesity Obesity is a condition associated with excess body weight, specifically with the deposition of excessive adipose tissue. Obesity is considered a global epidemic. Major influences come from the western diet and sedentary lifestyles, but the exact mechanisms likely include a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Increased risk of complicated diverticular disease:
    • Genetic disorders
      • Marfan syndrome Marfan syndrome Marfan syndrome is a genetic condition with autosomal dominant inheritance. Marfan syndrome affects the elasticity of connective tissues throughout the body, most notably in the cardiovascular, ocular, and musculoskeletal systems. Marfan Syndrome
      • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a heterogeneous group of inherited connective tissue disorders that are characterized by hyperextensible skin, hypermobile joints, and fragility of the skin and connective tissue. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
      • Scleroderma Scleroderma Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma
    • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases

Pathophysiology

Diverticulosis

  • Intraluminal pressure causes herniation Herniation Omphalocele of the mucosa and submucosa through weak areas in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy wall.
  • Diverticula occur in these weak spots (where vasa recta Vasa recta Glomerular Filtration or nutrient vessels penetrate the muscular layer).
  • Colonic diverticula are considered “false” diverticula or pseudodiverticula (does not contain all layers of the bowel wall) as they do not contain a muscular layer.
  • Diverticulosis in most patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship involves the sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus (most common site) and the descending colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy.
Colonic diverticula

Pathophysiology of the development of diverticulosis from a healthy colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy.
Colonic diverticula form when mucosa and submucosa herniate through the envelope Envelope Bilayer lipid membrane acquired by viral particles during viral morphogenesis. Although the lipids of the viral envelope are host derived, various virus-encoded integral membrane proteins, i.e. Viral envelope proteins are incorporated there. Virology that surrounds the intramural vasa recta Vasa recta Glomerular Filtration (nutrient vessels).

Image by Lecturio.

Diverticulitis

  • Increased intraluminal pressure and/or thickened food particles contribute to the erosion Erosion Partial-thickness loss of the epidermis Generalized and Localized Rashes of the diverticular wall.
  • In a minority of diverticulosis cases, inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, focal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage and/or necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage (diverticulitis) follow, with bacterial translocation and possible micro-/macroperforation.

Types of diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is often mild, with mesentery Mesentery A layer of the peritoneum which attaches the abdominal viscera to the abdominal wall and conveys their blood vessels and nerves. Peritoneum: Anatomy and pericolic fat walling off a small perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis. More extensive disease can lead to complications.

  • Simple or uncomplicated diverticulitis: 
    • No associated complication(s) 
    • 85% of diverticulitis cases
  • Complicated diverticulitis (can be acute or chronic): 
    • Diverticular abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (most common)
    • Obstruction
    • Free perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis
    • Fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula (frequently with the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess)
    • Diverticular stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
Acute diverticulitis

Pathophysiology of diverticulitis.
Acute diverticulitis is inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation localized to a diverticulum and the surrounding mucosa. The process may include microperforation or bacterial translocation, or focal ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage.

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Presentation

Diverticulosis

  • Asymptomatic
  • In majority of cases, detected incidentally on colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening or barium enema Barium enema X-ray examination of lower gastrointestinal tract. Imaging is done while a barium compound (e.g., barium sulfate) fills the large intestine via the rectum as a contrast material. Diarrhea

Diverticulitis

  • Symptoms:
    • Abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen
    • Urinary urgency Urinary Urgency Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (from bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess irritation)
    • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation or diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics/ vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Signs:
    • Tender LLQ and suprapubic areas (right LQ if with right-sided diverticulitis)
    • Local peritoneal irritation ( rebound tenderness Rebound Tenderness Acute Abdomen)
    • Diffuse guarding and peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury suggest perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis.
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever and tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children usually suggest complicated disease.

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Diagnosis

Diverticulosis

  • Patient is asymptomatic: no work-up 
  • Discovered incidentally after tests are done
  • Diverticular disease: Tests depend on presenting symptoms and suspected disease.
Diverticulum of the colon

Diverticulosis: colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening showing diverticula in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy

Image: “Diverticulum” by MAC 06. License: CC BY 4.0

Diverticulitis

  • History:
    • LLQ or suprapubic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Recurrent similar episodes of pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Laboratory studies:
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan:
    • Test of choice 
    • Will show:
      • Diverticula
      • Colonic wall thickening (> 4 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma)
      • Pericolonic fat stranding 
      • Microperforations (small gas bubbles next to the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy wall)
    • If complications are present, findings include: 
      • Abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease: fluid collection(s) with necrotic debris or air-fluid levels
      • Fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula: air collection noted within other organs
      • Obstruction: dilated bowel loops
      • Perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis: free air noted
  • Ultrasound:
    • Can show inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, bowel wall thickening, diverticula, abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Operator-dependent and requires experience
    • Rarely used in practice
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):
    • Similar findings to CT scan
    • Can be used when CT is contraindicated
  • Colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening:
    • Contraindicated during an acute episode of diverticulitis due to increased risk of perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis
    • Recommended 6–8 weeks after resolution of the acute episode:
      • To establish the extent of the disease 
      • To rule out other diagnoses ( malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax: found in 1.3% of simple diverticulitis and in 8% of complicated disease)

Management

Hinchey classification of severity of acute diverticulitis

  • Based on radiographic features
  • Helps direct surgical management of diverticulitis complications
Hinchey 1a Phlegmon (localized)
Hinchey 1b Pericolonic/mesenteric abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Hinchey 2 Pelvic abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Hinchey 3 Generalized purulent peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury
Hinchey 4 Generalized feculent peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury

Medical management

  • Outpatient (generally for Hinchey 1a)
    • 7–10 day course of oral antibiotics
      • Fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones are a group of broad-spectrum, bactericidal antibiotics inhibiting bacterial DNA replication. Fluoroquinolones cover gram-negative, anaerobic, and atypical organisms, as well as some gram-positive and multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms. Fluoroquinolones + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
      • Amoxicillin Amoxicillin A broad-spectrum semisynthetic antibiotic similar to ampicillin except that its resistance to gastric acid permits higher serum levels with oral administration. Penicillins-clavulanate
      • Trimethoprim Trimethoprim The sulfonamides are a class of antimicrobial drugs inhibiting folic acid synthesize in pathogens. The prototypical drug in the class is sulfamethoxazole. Although not technically sulfonamides, trimethoprim, dapsone, and pyrimethamine are also important antimicrobial agents inhibiting folic acid synthesis. The agents are often combined with sulfonamides, resulting in a synergistic effect. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole Sulfamethoxazole A bacteriostatic antibacterial agent that interferes with folic acid synthesis in susceptible bacteria. Its broad spectrum of activity has been limited by the development of resistance. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim + metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
    • Diet modification (optional): 2–3 days of clear-liquid diet
    • Reassess in 2–3 days.
  • Inpatient
    • Criteria for admission:
      • Complicated diverticulitis
      • Microperforation on CT scan (Hinchey 1b)
      • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
      • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever > 39°C (102.5°F)
      • Significant leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus
      • Age > 70
      • Immunosuppression
      • Significant comorbidities Comorbidities The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus
      • Intolerance of oral intake
      • Failure of outpatient treatment 
    • Intravenous antibiotics: broad-spectrum Broad-Spectrum Fluoroquinolones with enteric coverage
    • Bowel rest/clear-liquid diet
    • Pain management Pain Management Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Pain is a subjective experience. Acute pain lasts < 3 months and typically has a specific, identifiable cause. Pain Management
    • Repeat CT scan in 2–3 days if no improvement to evaluate for complications.
  • Recovery (about 6–8 weeks): Perform colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening to rule out colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy cancer.

Surgery

Rationale:

  • Immediate:
    • Free perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis/ peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury (Hinchey 3 and 4)
    • Worsening clinical course despite medical management
  • Delayed/elective (6–8 weeks after an acute attack):
    • Recurrent attacks of diverticulitis (2 or more)
    • After an initial attack for high-risk patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship:
      • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
      • Immunosuppression
      • Renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome
      • Collagen Collagen A polypeptide substance comprising about one third of the total protein in mammalian organisms. It is the main constituent of skin; connective tissue; and the organic substance of bones (bone and bones) and teeth (tooth). Connective Tissue: Histology vascular disorders (e.g., lupus)
    • Complicated diverticulitis initially managed with medical therapy

Procedures:

  • Elective/delayed:
    • Segmental colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy resection with primary anastomosis
    • Usually after a colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening to rule out other diseases (e.g., cancer)
  • Emergent/same admission:
    • Primary anastomosis is at risk of leaking in the setting of inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation/infection.
    • Diversion of fecal stream from the anastomosis is needed until healed:
      • Hartmann’s procedure (resection of involved colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy segment with end colostomy): gold standard
      • Resection of involved segment with primary anastomosis and diverting loop ileostomy Ileostomy Surgical creation of an external opening into the ileum for fecal diversion or drainage. This replacement for the rectum is usually created in patients with severe inflammatory bowel diseases. Loop (continent) or tube (incontinent) procedures are most often employed. Large Bowel Obstruction: alternative
      • Reversal of colostomy/ ileostomy Ileostomy Surgical creation of an external opening into the ileum for fecal diversion or drainage. This replacement for the rectum is usually created in patients with severe inflammatory bowel diseases. Loop (continent) or tube (incontinent) procedures are most often employed. Large Bowel Obstruction can be performed in 3–6 months.

Complications of Diverticulitis

Diverticular abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (Hinchey 2)

  • Walled-off pus collection that forms adjacent to a ruptured diverticulum
  • 17% of hospitalized patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with acute diverticulitis
  • Management:
Diverticulitis-related abscess

Imaging illustrating a sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus diverticulitis-related abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease: CT scan showing peri-colonic fluid collection with air-fluid level (green arrow) consistent with an abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Image: “ Sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus diverticulitis” by Department of Surgery, Macerata Hospital, Macerata, Italy. License: CC BY 4.0

Obstruction

  • Can develop acutely with severe colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation
  • Usually resolves when inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation subsides
  • A stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis may develop after an acute phase Acute phase Short Bowel Syndrome ( scarring Scarring Inflammation from inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation).
  • Diverticular stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis:
    • Difficult to differentiate from cancer 
    • Usually requires surgery

Perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis

  • Free colonic perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis with uncontained leakage in the peritoneal cavity Peritoneal Cavity The space enclosed by the peritoneum. It is divided into two portions, the greater sac and the lesser sac or omental bursa, which lies behind the stomach. The two sacs are connected by the foramen of winslow, or epiploic foramen. Peritoneum: Anatomy
  • Hinchey grade 3 and 4
  • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship usually present with peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children.
  • Requires emergent surgery (Hartmann’s procedure)

Fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula

  • Fistulas can develop as inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation in the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy wall erodes into the adjacent organs: 
    • Colovesical (to bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess; presents with pneumaturia/ fecaluria)
    • Colovaginal/colouterine (foul-smelling/feculent vaginal discharge)
    • Coloenteric (to small bowel Small bowel The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy)
    • Colocutaneous (to the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions)
  • Can be initially managed with antibiotics in a stable patient
  • Rarely heal on their own
  • Eventually require surgical resection of the fistulizing colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy segment

Other Presentations of Diverticular Disease

Diverticular bleeding

  • Most common source of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in adults
  • Vasa recta Vasa recta Glomerular Filtration (in the diverticulum), covered by mucosal layer only, are exposed to continuous injury from luminal contents.
  • Vessel walls weaken from intimal and medial changes, predisposing to rupture and bleeding.
  • 50%–90% occur on the right colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy.
  • Manifestations:
    • Usually painless hematochezia Hematochezia Gastrointestinal Bleeding
    • Sometimes associated with cramping and bloating Bloating Constipation
    • Blood from the left colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy is bright red; from the right colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy, blood is maroon/brown.
    • Spontaneously stops in 75% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship but with increased risk of rebleeding
  • Diagnosis and management of lower GI bleeding:
    • Workup commences once the patient is stable and resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (for blood loss) is complete.
    • Colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening: test of choice as it is both diagnostic and therapeutic
    • Imaging:
      • Nuclear scintigraphy Scintigraphy Sjögren’s Syndrome (tagged red blood cell scan): detects bleeding with rate of 0.1–0.5 mL/min
      • CT angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery:
        • Detects bleeding with rate of 0.3–0.5 mL/min
        • Requires intravenous contrast and has radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment
      • Angiography Angiography Radiography of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. Cardiac Surgery
        • Requires active bleeding loss of 0.5–1 mL/min
        • Therapeutic intervention with vasoconstrictors/ embolization Embolization A method of hemostasis utilizing various agents such as gelfoam, silastic, metal, glass, or plastic pellets, autologous clot, fat, and muscle as emboli. It has been used in the treatment of spinal cord and intracranial arteriovenous malformations, renal arteriovenous fistulas, gastrointestinal bleeding, epistaxis, hypersplenism, certain highly vascular tumors, traumatic rupture of blood vessels, and control of operative hemorrhage. Gastrointestinal Bleeding can be given (carries complication risks).
    • Surgery if bleeding cannot be controlled
Diverticular hemorrhage

Illustration of diverticular hemorrhage:
Arterial bleeding can complicate diverticulosis, with vascular disease or structural weakness as likely contributing factors. The condtion is the most common source of lower gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is a symptom of multiple diseases within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastrointestinal bleeding is designated as upper or lower based on the etiology’s location to the ligament of Treitz. Depending on the location of the bleeding, the patient may present with hematemesis (vomiting blood), melena (black, tarry stool), or hematochezia (fresh blood in stools). Gastrointestinal Bleeding.

Image by Lecturio.

Segmental colitis Colitis Inflammation of the colon section of the large intestine, usually with symptoms such as diarrhea (often with blood and mucus), abdominal pain, and fever. Pseudomembranous Colitis associated with diverticulosis

  • Inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the interdiverticular mucosa (not diverticula themselves)
  • < 2% of cases with diverticulosis
  • Pathogenesis is not exactly understood, but may be related to:
    • Chronic mucosal inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation from diverticular herniation Herniation Omphalocele
    • Fecal stasis with resultant change in bacterial flora
    • Ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage from changes to mucosal microcirculation
  • Manifestations:
    • Lower or LLQ abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen
    • Chronic diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea and occasional hematochezia Hematochezia Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Diagnosis:
    • Discovered incidentally on work-up of diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, and hematochezia Hematochezia Gastrointestinal Bleeding
    • CT scan: colonic wall thickening in segment with diverticulosis
    • Colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening: interdiverticular inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation often in the sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy, sparing the rectum Rectum The rectum and anal canal are the most terminal parts of the lower GI tract/large intestine that form a functional unit and control defecation. Fecal continence is maintained by several important anatomic structures including rectal folds, anal valves, the sling-like puborectalis muscle, and internal and external anal sphincters. Rectum and Anal Canal: Anatomy
  • Management:
    • Antibiotics: ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin A broad-spectrum antimicrobial carboxyfluoroquinoline. Fluoroquinolones, metronidazole Metronidazole A nitroimidazole used to treat amebiasis; vaginitis; trichomonas infections; giardiasis; anaerobic bacteria; and treponemal infections. Pyogenic Liver Abscess
    • Other options: mesalamine, course of prednisone Prednisone A synthetic anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid derived from cortisone. It is biologically inert and converted to prednisolone in the liver. Immunosuppressants

Symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease

  • Also known as “smoldering” diverticulitis
  • Colonic wall thickening without obvious inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation
  • Suspected causes:
  • Manifestations:
    • Abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen without other signs of acute diverticulitis
    • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation
  • Diagnosis:
    • Rule out other GI functional disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disease characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits without an identifiable organic cause. The etiology and pathophysiology of this disease are not well understood, and there are many factors that may contribute. Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS IBS Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disease characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits without an identifiable organic cause. The etiology and pathophysiology of this disease are not well understood, and there are many factors that may contribute. Irritable Bowel Syndrome))
    •  Clinical findings: 
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in SUDD: more sustained (often > 24 hrs HRS Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a potentially reversible cause of acute kidney injury that develops secondary to liver disease. The main cause of hrs is hypovolemia, often as a result of forced diuresis or drainage of ascites. This leads to renal vasoconstriction resulting in hypoperfusion of the kidneys. Hepatorenal Syndrome)
      • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways not relieved by bowel movement, unlike in IBS IBS Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disease characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits without an identifiable organic cause. The etiology and pathophysiology of this disease are not well understood, and there are many factors that may contribute. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
      • Tenderness located in the left iliac fossa
    • CT scan and colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening:
      • Performed depending on symptoms, risk of cancer, and clinical status
      • Absence of diverticula excludes SUDD.
  • Management: high- fiber diet Fiber diet Constipation; rifaximin Rifaximin A synthetic rifamycin derivative and anti-bacterial agent that is used for the treatment of gastroenteritis caused by Escherichia coli infections. It may also be used in the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy. Hepatic Encephalopathy has been tried with success

Differential Diagnosis

  • Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer (CRC): a colonic neoplasm that often presents with rectal bleeding and colonic obstruction.  Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer sometimes can be associated with inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation; can perforate and mimic complicated diverticulitis. Diagnosis is by colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening with biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma in a stable patient. In an emergent situation, the diagnosis is sometimes made during surgery.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): a family of autoimmune diseases Autoimmune diseases Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides. Selective IgA Deficiency that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis. Acute presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor can be similar to diverticulitis (lower abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever). Diagnosis is established by detailed history and colonoscopy Colonoscopy Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon. Colorectal Cancer Screening with biopsies.
  • Appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. Main symptom is right lower quadrant Right lower quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways. May be impossible to clinically distinguish right-sided diverticulitis from acute appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis as the symptoms are very similar. Diagnosis is established by CT scan or sometimes during surgery.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease Pelvic inflammatory disease Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is defined as a polymicrobial infection of the upper female reproductive system. The disease can affect the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and adjacent structures. Pelvic inflammatory disease is closely linked with sexually transmitted diseases, most commonly caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Gardnerella vaginalis. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: sexually transmitted infection Sexually Transmitted Infection Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that spread either by vaginal intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex. Symptoms and signs may include vaginal discharge, penile discharge, dysuria, skin lesions (e.g., warts, ulcers) on or around the genitals, and pelvic pain. Some infections can lead to infertility and chronic debilitating disease. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) of the internal reproductive organs in women. Presents with lower abdominal/pelvic  pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, local peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury, and fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever. Diagnosis is established by history, gynecologic exam, and pelvic ultrasound or CT scan.

References

  1. Camilleri, M., Sandler, R., Peery, A. (2019) Etiopathogenetic Mechanisms in Diverticular Disease of the Colon. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology Vol 9, Issue 1, P15-32; https://www.cmghjournal.org/article/S2352-345X(19)30095-5/fulltext
  2. Ghoulam, E., Clarrett, D., Marsicano, E. (2019) Diverticulitis. Medscape. Retrieved 8 Dec 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/173388-overview
  3. Maconi, G. (2017). Diagnosis of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease and the role of rifaximin in management. Acta Biomed 88(1): 25–32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6166204/ 
  4. McQuaid K.R. (2021). Diverticular disease of the colon. Papadakis M.A., McPhee S.J., Rabow M.W. (Eds.). Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2021. McGraw-Hill. 
  5. Mizuki, A., Tatemichi, M., Nagata, H. (2018). Management of Diverticular Hemorrhage: Catching That Culprit Diverticulum Red-Handed! Inflamm Intest Dis. 3(2): 100–106. doi: 10.1159/000490387
  6. Pemberton J.H. (2019). Colonic diverticulosis and diverticular disease: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis. UpToDate. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/colonic-diverticulosis-and-diverticular-disease-epidemiology-risk-factors-and-pathogenesis?search=diverticular%20disease&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~98&usage_type=default&display_rank=1
  7. Pemberton J.H. (2019). Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acute diverticulitis in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-and-diagnosis-of-acute-diverticulitis-in-adults?search=diverticular%20disease&source=search_result&selectedTitle=6~98&usage_type=default&display_rank=5
  8. Pemberton J.H. (2020). Acute colonic diverticulitis: Medical management. UpToDate. Retrieved December 6, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acute-colonic-diverticulitis-medical-management?search=diverticular%20disease&source=search_result&selectedTitle=8~98&usage_type=default&display_rank=7

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