Imaging of colonic diverticular disease

Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Michael Jesse Snyder


Diverticular disease affects approximately two thirds of the population over the age of 70. While only a small fraction of these patients will develop diverticulitis, adequate radiological evaluation of diverticulitis and its complications is imperative in determining proper medical and surgical treatment. Clinical examination and laboratory tests alone have been found to be inaccurate in defining many aspects of the disease in up to 60% of cases. Over the past 30 years, contrast enema, computed tomography, and ultrasound have all been used extensively to diagnose the complications of diverticular disease. More recently, magnetic resonance imaging has been studied in patients with complicated diverticulitis. This article reviews the use of these different radiological modalities in diagnosing acute colonic diverticulitis and its complications.


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