Diverticular disease of the colon

Lancet. 2004 Feb 21;363(9409):631-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)15597-9.


Colonic diverticulosis refers to small outpouchings from the colonic lumen due to mucosal herniation through the colonic wall at sites of vascular perforation. Abnormal colonic motility and inadequate intake of dietary fibre have been implicated in its pathogenesis. This acquired abnormality is typically found in developed countries, and its prevalence rises with age. Most patients affected will remain entirely asymptomatic; however, 10-20% of those affected can manifest clinical syndromes, mainly diverticulitis and diverticular haemorrhage. As our elderly population grows, we can anticipate a concomitant rise in the number of patients with diverticular disease. Here, we review the incidence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and management of diverticular disease of the colon and its complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diverticulosis, Colonic* / complications
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic* / diagnosis
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic* / epidemiology
  • Humans