Diverticulitis

Definition of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is swelling (inflammation) of an abnormal pouch (diverticulum) in the intestinal wall. These pouches are usually found in the large intestine (colon). The presence of the pouches themselves is called diverticulosis.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Small, protruding sacs of the inner lining of the intestine (diverticulosis) can develop in any part of the intestine. They are most common in the colon, especially the sigmoid colon, the lowest part of the colon.

Signs and tests

Tests showing diverticulitis may include:

Treatment

Acute diverticulitis is treated with antibiotics.

Expectations (prognosis)

Usually, this is a mild condition that responds well to treatment.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/28/2009

Colonoscopy
Digestive system
Colon diverticula - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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