Diverticulitis of the transverse colon manifesting as colocutaneous fistula

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2018 Aug 16;100(8):e1-e3. doi: 10.1308/rcsann.2018.0130. Online ahead of print.


The transverse colon is a particularly rare site for a diverticulum to develop, with only few reports of solitary diverticula described in the literature. Among the reported complications, colocutaneous fistulas appear relatively infrequently. We describe the case of an 80-year-old woman with a solitary diverticulum of the transverse colon presenting as acute diverticulitis with abscess formation in the epigastric region. A fistulous tract was found between the inflamed colon and the skin. A wedge resection of the inflamed colon together with the fistula and the solitary diverticulum was performed followed by primary suturing of the healthy colonic tissue. Despite the sufficient treatment and thorough clearance of the area, the patient died ten days later from ventilator associated pneumonia. Although rare, in patients presenting with a subcutaneous abscess in the abdominal region, there should be a high level of suspicion for active intraperitoneal inflammation derived from complicated diverticular disease given the continuously elevated prevalence of the condition in Western societies. The decision regarding proper management of this clinical state should be based on thorough clinical examination and imaging.

Keywords: Diverticulitis; Fistula; Solitary; Transverse colon.