Diverticular Disease: An Update on Pathogenesis and Management

Gut Liver. 2018 Mar 15;12(2):125-132. doi: 10.5009/gnl16552.


Diverticular disease is one of the most common conditions in the Western world and one of the most common findings identified at colonoscopy. Recently, there has been a significant paradigm shift in our understanding of diverticular disease and its management. The pathogenesis of diverticular disease is thought to be multifactorial and include both environmental and genetic factors in addition to the historically accepted etiology of dietary fiber deficiency. Symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD) is currently considered a type of chronic diverticulosis that is perhaps akin to irritable bowel syndrome. Mesalamine, rifaximin and probiotics may achieve symptomatic relief in some patients with SUDD, although their role(s) in preventing complications remain unclear. Antibiotic use for acute diverticulitis and elective prophylactic resection surgery are considered more individualized treatment modalities that take into account the clinical status, comorbidities and lifestyle of the patient. Our understanding of the pathogenesis of diverticular disease continues to evolve and is likely to be diverse and multifactorial. Paradigm shifts in several areas of the pathogenesis and management of diverticular disease are explored in this review.

Keywords: Diverticular disease; Diverticulitis; Symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Diverticular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Diverticular Diseases* / etiology
  • Diverticular Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Diverticular Diseases* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Management / methods*