A previous study had shown an increased prevalence (83%) of diverticula among patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) compared with other ESRD patients without ADPKD (32%). Others have also suggested an increased risk for diverticular complications in renal transplant recipients with ADPKD. To determine whether there was an increased occurrence of diverticula among non-ESRD patients with ADPKD, we studied 55 patients with ADPKD who were not receiving renal replacement therapy compared with 12 unaffected family members (non-ADPKD) and 59 random patients who had undergone barium enemas (control [C]). No study patient had a history of diverticular disease. All patients underwent a double-contrast barium enema after administration of glucagon. The occurrence, number, location, and size of diverticula were noted. There was no significant difference among the three groups in regard to sex (men: ADPKD, 42% versus non-ADPKD, 42% versus C, 37%) or age (ADPKD, 49.3 +/- 0.7 versus non-ADPKD, 51.2 +/- 2.1 versus C, 49 +/- 1 years). There was no significant difference in the percentage of patients with diverticula (ADPKD, 47% versus non-ADPKD, 58% versus C, 59%), the percentage with only right-colon diverticula (ADPKD, 5% versus non-ADPKD, 17% versus C, 5%), the mean number of diverticula in patients with diverticulosis (ADPKD, 13.8 versus non-ADPKD, 7.9 versus C, 9.9 diverticula), or the size of the largest diverticula (ADPKD, 9.5 versus non-ADPKD, 10.4 versus C, 10.5 mm). There was no significant difference in these variables between the patients with ADPKD with a creatinine clearance greater than 70 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (n = 25) or less than 70 mL/min/1.73 m(2). This study does not show the greater prevalence of diverticular disease in non-ESRD patients with ADPKD compared with the general population. Thus, patients with ADPKD need not be considered at greater risk for diverticular disease than the general population.