Diagnosis and Management of Acute Diverticulitis
Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA, USA.American family physician (Impact Factor: 2.18). 05/2013; 87(9):612-20.
Uncomplicated diverticulitis is localized diverticular inflammation, whereas complicated diverticulitis is diverticular inflammation associated with an abscess, phlegmon, fistula, obstruction, bleeding, or perforation. Patients with acute diverticulitis may present with left lower quadrant pain, tenderness, abdominal distention, and fever. Other symptoms may include anorexia, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and dysuria. Initial laboratory studies include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, urinalysis, and measurement of C-reactive protein. Computed tomography, the most commonly performed imaging test, is useful to establish the diagnosis and the extent and severity of disease, and to exclude complications in selected patients. Colonoscopy is recommended four to six weeks after resolution of symptoms for patients with complicated disease or for another indication, such as age-appropriate screening. In mild, uncomplicated diverticulitis, antibiotics do not accelerate recovery, or prevent complications or recurrences. Hospitalization should be considered if patients have signs of peritonitis or there is suspicion of complicated diverticulitis. Inpatient management includes intravenous fluid resuscitation and intravenous antibiotics. Patients with a localized abscess may be candidates for computed tomography-guided percutaneous drainage. Fifteen to 30 percent of patients admitted with acute diverticulitis require surgical intervention during that admission. Laparoscopic surgery results in a shorter length of stay, fewer complications, and lower in-hospital mortality compared with open colectomy. The decision to proceed to surgery in patients with recurrent diverticulitis should be individualized and based on patient preference, comorbidities, and lifestyle. Interventions to prevent recurrences of diverticulitis include increased intake of dietary fiber, exercise, cessation of smoking, and, in persons with a body mass index of 30 kg per m2 or higher, weight loss.
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ABSTRACT: Sigmoid diverticulitis is an infection that resolves with conservative management in 70-85% of patients. Some patients require prolonged hospitalization or surgery during their admission. It has been taught that one should expect clinical improvement within 48 h. In this study, we examined whether basic clinical parameters (the maximum temperature and leukocyte count) of patients would predict improvement and discharge as expected, or prolonged hospitalization. Data was acquired from 198 patients admitted with acute sigmoid diverticulitis as confirmed by computed tomography (CT) scanning and physical exam. One hundred sixty-five patients recovered without surgery with an average hospital stay of 4 days: 120 were discharged within 4 days, whereas 45 patients required longer stays. Nineteen patients underwent surgery early during their admission (within 48 h). Fourteen patients did not improve over time and required surgery later during their hospital stay. The daily maximum temperature and leukocyte count of patients with prolonged stays was compared to the patients who were discharged within 4 days using analysis of variance analysis. The average maximum temperature and leukocyte count on admission were not statistically different between the groups; therefore, maximum temperature and leukocyte count on admission alone are not predictive. After the first 24 h, however, one could see a statistically significant difference in maximum temperature (p=0.004). The leukocyte count responded significantly by hospital day 2 (p=0.003). Both trends were significant through hospital day 4. Patients with a noticeable drop in leukocyte count and maximum temperature over the first 48 h of medical management were predictably discharged early on oral antibiotics. Patients failing to improve at 48 h required prolonged stays or surgery. By observing early trends in leukocyte count and maximum temperature of patients with diverticulitis, one can predict whether they will recover quickly as expected or if they will likely require prolonged IV antibiotics and/or surgery.
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ABSTRACT: Diverticular disease is one of the most prevalent medical conditions to affect Western populations. Symptomatic diverticular disease can range from mild, low-level symptomatology similar to that seen in irritable bowel syndrome to acute bouts of diverticulitis complicated by abscess or frank perforation. This review discusses the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and management of the spectrum of diverticular disease, including mention of recent advances in the treatment of chronic diverticular disease with aminosalicyclates and probiotics.
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