Data on percutaneous drainage followed by observation for diverticular abscess is scant.
The aim of this study is to assess outcomes of percutaneous drainage alone in the management of peridiverticular abscess.
This is a retrospective study from a prospectively collected database.
This study was conducted in a high-volume, specialized colorectal surgery unit.
All patients with a diverticular abscess of at least 3 cm in diameter, treated between 2001 and 2012, who had prohibitive comorbidities or refused surgery after percutaneous drainage were included.
The primary outcome measured was the treatment of diverticular abscess with percutaneous drainage alone.
A total of 18 patients (11 surgery refusal, 7 comorbidity) were followed up until death, surgery for recurrent diverticulitis, or for a median of 90 (17–139) months. The median abscess size was 5 (3.8–10) cm, and the location was pelvic in 8 cases and intra-abdominal in 10. The mean duration of drainage was 20 ± 1.3 days, with the exception of 2 patients who only had aspiration of the abscess because of technical difficulty in drain placement. Three patients died of preexisting comorbidities between 2 and 8 months after percutaneous drainage. Seven of the surviving patients (7/15) experienced recurrent diverticulitis; 3 of these patients underwent surgery between 7 months and 7 years after the index percutaneous drainage. Of the remaining 4 cases of recurrence, one abscess was treated with repeat percutaneous drainage alone and 3 patients had uncomplicated diverticulitis treated with antibiotics. There were no significant associations between long-term failure of percutaneous drainage and the location of the abscess (p = 0.54) or previous episodes of diverticulitis (p = 0.9).
This study was limited because of its retrospective nature, its nonrandomized design, and its small sample size.
Percutaneous drainage alone was successful in avoiding surgery in the majority of this selected patient population with sigmoid diverticular abscess. Future studies should assess the appropriate indications for a more liberal use of percutaneous drainage not followed by elective surgery.
Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Poster presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Phoenix, AZ, April 27 to May 1, 2013.
Correspondence: Luca Stocchi, M.D., Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute, 9500 Euclid Ave, A30, Cleveland, OH 44195. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org