Diverticulosis (Colonic)

Sites

  • Typically sigmoid, though occasionally can be R sided

Etiology

  • Diverticulae are outpourings of colonic mucosa and subcuosa, herniating thru muscular layer at weak points where vessels penetrate the wall; perhaps exacerbated by chronic straining w/bowel movements
  • Diverticulosis is common, occurring in >50% over age 60; typically in sigmoid colon; less commonly ascending colon
  • Diverticulosis is asymptomatic unless infected (diverticulitis) or bleeds

Risk Factors

  • Diets low in fiber

Symptoms

  • Painless blood per rectum
  • Can be small or very large amounts
  • Can stop spontaneously and recur

Physical Exam Findings

  • Bright red blood on rectal exam, passed in toilet bowl, mixed w/stool
  • Bleeding source not visible on exam

Tests