Objective: Little is known about the clinical features and natural history of segmental colitis associated with diverticula. Our aim was to evaluate the incidence of segmental colitis associated with diverticula in patients undergoing colonoscopy, its clinical picture, and its outcome.
Methods: This was a multicenter, prospective study. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-like lesions limited to colonic segments with diverticula were enrolled. Patients were treated with oral and topical 5-aminosalicylic (5-ASA) until remission was achieved; clinical and endoscopic follow-up was planned at 6 wk and 12 months.
Results: A total of 5457 consecutive colonoscopies were recorded at five participating institutions; 20 patients (0.36%) met the endoscopic criteria for segmental colitis associated with diverticula. All had lesions in the left colon, and one also had lesions in the right colon. In six cases, a specific diagnosis was made thereafter. The remaining 14 patients (0.25% of colonoscopies; eight men; age range, 49-80 yr) were in clinical and endoscopic remission at the first follow-up visit. At onset, 13/14 had hematochezia, seven had diarrhea, and five had abdominal pain; only one had weight loss. No subject had fever. In all but one case, blood chemistries were normal. Five patients had had similar symptoms previously. Thirteen of 14 patients were in clinical and endoscopic remission at 12 months.
Conclusions: This endoscopic picture is not an exceptional finding. Hematochezia was the main clinical feature, and no relation with gender, age, or smoking habit was found. Blood chemistries were generally normal and the rectum was spared. The histological features were not diagnostic and most patients did not complain of any abdominal symptoms 12 months after enrollment.