Uncomplicated Diverticulitis, More Complicated than We Thought

Sarah Y. Boostrom, Bruce G. Wolff, Robert R. Cima, Amit Merchea, Eric J. Dozois, David W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Introduction: The classification of complicated and uncomplicated diverticulitis has been used for many years. We note variations in the course of uncomplicated diverticulitis. We propose and describe three categories of uncomplicated diverticulitis. Methods: A review was performed on 907 patients who underwent sigmoid resection for diverticulitis between January 1, 2005 and December 30, 2009 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Overall, 223 individuals were excluded as they were not uncomplicated diverticulitis. The remaining 684 patients were divided into three classifications as follows: 54 (7. 9 %) atypical, 66 (9. 6 %) chronic/smoldering, and 564 (82 %) acute resolving. Data elements abstracted included demographics, preoperative symptoms, imaging and endoscopy, operative and pathologic findings, postoperative complications, and resolution of symptoms. Results: The 30-day complication rate of the atypical, chronic/smoldering, and acute groups was 26 %, 22 %, and 35 %, respectively. Resolution of symptoms for the atypical and chronic/smoldering groups was 93 % and 89 %, respectively. Only two patients in the acute resolving group required an operation for recurrence. Conclusion: A spectrum of clinical presentation for uncomplicated diverticulitis may require different approaches. A select group of patients with chronic/smoldering and atypical disease will continue to be burdened by symptoms. The success of surgical intervention was greater than 89 % in both groups with acceptable morbidity, and should remain an option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1749
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Uncomplicated diverticulitis categories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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