The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Complications of Diverticular Disease – a Quick Overview


Diverticulosis is a chronic acquired disease defined by the presence of diverticular protrusions throughout the wall layers of the digestive tract. Colonic diverticular disease is defined as clinically manifest or symptomatic diverticulosis, either by inflammation, diverticular bleeding or segmental colitis. It is a frequent cause of hospitalization in industrialized countries and also makes a major contribution to health care costs. Due to the spread of the Western-style diet, low in fibre and high in processed foods, the prevalence of diverticulosis is now increasing globally. Obesity is a significant risk factor contributing to the increased prevalence of both diverticular disease and diverticulitis and its complications, particularly in the younger population, previously considered to be at much lower risk than the geriatric population. Diverticulitis occurs when one or more diverticula, together with adjacent colonic tissue, undergo an inflammatory process. Approximately 15% of patients who suffer an episode of acute diverticulitis will experience complications, the most common of which is peridiverticular abscess, which can be complicated by peritonitis. Less common complications are colonic lumen stenosis and fistulae. Being a relatively common disease in the general population, with a constantly increasing prevalence, and also a disease with potentially reducible complications, especially in the case of frail patients with multiple comorbidities, it is necessary not only to update the therapeutic strategies, but also to set up multidisciplinary medical teams in which communication between the specialists involved results in a personalized approach to each case.