Critical Issues on Diverticular Disease

J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2019 Dec 19;28(suppl. 4):35-38. doi: 10.15403/jgld-557.


In this session diverse critical issues in diverticular disease were considered, including "In or outpatient management of uncomplicated diverticulitis?", "Segmental colitis associated with diverticulosis: what is it?"and "Diverticular inflammation is a risk factor for colorectal cancer?". The conclusions drawn are outlined in the statements but in summary, outpatient management is safe in selected patients, as long as correct diagnosis and stage are assured, and this can allow a cost effective treatment. Non-antibiotic management is also safe but should be confined as an outpatient treatment in carefully selected patients. Segmental colitis associated with diverticulosis (SCAD) is a defined pathological entity (only diagnosed on biopsy) characterized by an inflammatory bowel disease-like pathology, occurring principally in the sigmoid colon, with rectal and right colon sparing. The pathogenesis is unclear but may include a genetic predisposition, microbiome alteration and ischaemia. Treatment can last months, and depends on severity, options include antibiotics, 5 ASA and probiotics for mild cases. Severe disease needs systemic steroids or even anti TNFα treatment. Whether diverticular inflammation is a risk factor for colorectal cancer was debated and the conclusion that within the first eighteen months of diagnosis of diverticular disease associations with cancer are found, likely due to similar symptoms and misclassification of disease. After that time, diverticular disease does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Therefore, this is recommended to exclude cancer with imaging and colonoscopy after healing of the first episode of diverticulitis.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Colitis / etiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Diverticular Diseases / complications
  • Diverticular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Diverticular Diseases / therapy*
  • Diverticulitis / complications
  • Diverticulosis, Colonic / etiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors