Meckel's diverticulum: imaging diagnosis

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996 Mar;166(3):567-73. doi: 10.2214/ajr.166.3.8623629.


Despite the availability and wide use of modern imaging techniques, the diagnosis of Meckel's diverticulum is difficult. The signs and symptoms vary from none to those of an acute abdomen or gastrointestinal bleeding. Findings on physical examination may be inconsistent because of the variable location of the diverticulum, and bleeding may occur with no appreciable physical findings. Finally, small diverticula are often concealed by overlying small-bowel loops on routine small-bowel barium studies. The purposes of this article are to review the use of available techniques for the imaging diagnosis of Meckel's diverticulum, to discuss the relative advantages and indications for the various procedures, and to emphasize the role each plays in specific clinical circumstances. The embryology, anatomy, and clinical presentation of Meckel's diverticulum are also briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meckel Diverticulum / diagnosis*
  • Meckel Diverticulum / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography