Jejunal diverticulosis found in a patient with long-standing pneumoperitoneum and pseudo-obstruction on imaging: a case report

Gastroenterol Rep (Oxf). 2016 Nov;4(4):337-340. doi: 10.1093/gastro/gov033. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


Small bowel diverticulosis is a rare finding within the general population and jejunal diverticulosis, specifically, is even rarer. Clinical manifestations can range from post-prandial pain, constipation and malabsorption to serious complications, such as gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, perforation and acute intestinal obstruction. Here we describe the case of an 81-year-old gentleman who presented with a three-year history of abdominal pain and weight loss. Despite unremarkable physical examination and laboratory tests, persistent pneumoperitoneum and dilated loops of small bowel were found on imaging. Having been given a diagnosis of small bowel bacterial overgrowth, the patient underwent capsule endoscopy study for further evaluation of his small bowel. The capsule did not reach the colon and the patient never noted passing the capsule in his stool so, six months post-procedure, a computed tomography (CT) scan seemed to reveal the retained capsule. Subsequent exploratory laparotomy revealed 200 cm of atonic, dilated jejunum with impressive diverticula along the anti-mesenteric border. This case report is an example of an unusual set of presenting signs and symptoms of jejunal diverticulosis, including persistent pneumoperitoneum, pseudo-obstruction and small bowel bacterial overgrowth. A literature review has revealed that these signs have been present in other cases of jejunal diverticulosis, although the etiology and pathophysiology is not clearly understood.

Keywords: Jejunal diverticulosis; pneumoperitoneum; pseudo-obstruction.