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What Do We Know About Diverticular Disease?: A Brief Overview

Bogardus, Sidney T. Jr MD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: August 2006 - Volume 40 - Issue - p S108-S111
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000212603.28595.5c

Diverticulosis and its complications, particularly diverticulitis, are extremely common in western countries. The major factor in the development of diverticulosis is a lack of adequate fiber intake. Diverticulitis may be complicated by abscess formation, fistula formation, peritonitis, or obstruction. Computed tomography scans are highly useful tools to plan appropriate care. Most cases of simple, uncomplicated diverticulitis respond to conservative therapy with bowel rest and antibiotics. Many controversies remain in the care of diverticulitis patients, including the optimal timing of surgery. One particularly interesting area of recent research examines the overlap of diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease, including the use of probiotics and mesalamine in diverticular disease.

Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine

Reprints: Sidney T. Bogardus, Jr, MD, 22 Westfield Avenue, Ansonia, CT 06401 (e-mail:

Received for publication January 25, 2006; accepted March 22, 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.