Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Diverticulitis is inflammation of a diverticulum (an outpouching), usually of the large colon .
10-25% patients with colonic diverticula develop disease. Recurrence is over 50% and increases with age. There is an association between constipation and developing diverticulae, presumably because constipation causes a raised intracolonic pressure.
Mechanical blockage of diverticula, usually by a piece of feces leads to infection of the diverticulum.
It usually presents as abdominal pain associated with diarrhea. Sometimes, there is a history of bloody diarrhea.
Diverticulitis is mostly diagnosed from the history and physical exam. Diverticulitis should be suspected in more elderly patients with a history of chronic constipation. The diagnosis is confirmed with radiologic imaging or colonoscopy.
Treatment will range from conservative management with medications to surgical resection of the affected bowel, depending on the severity of the disease. Sometimes a treatment called CT-Guided Abscess Drainage is performed in stead of surgical resection to remove collected fluids outside of the bowel in the stomach cavity.
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