Diverticular Disease: Changing Epidemiology and Management

Roshan Razik, Geoffrey C. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diverticulosis is the most common pathological finding in routine colonoscopy. Diverticular disease comprises both diverticulitis and diverticular hemorrhage. This review examines the pathophysiological basis for disease including the importance of the elastin/collagen profile in diverticula formation. It summarizes the latest epidemiological findings with an emphasis on age- and sex-related differences. Risk factors including obesity, medications, hereditary factors, and diet are critically reviewed with the most up-to-date evidence. A detailed appraisal of therapeutic options is provided with special emphasis on 5-aminosalicylate, probiotics, mesalamine, percutaneous abscess drainage, and image-guided embolization. The role of antibiotics and surgery is discussed and compared with guideline recommendations. A more conservative approach, averting admission and even antibiotics, is explored. Finally, a careful review of the data surrounding the utility of colonoscopy in diagnosis and management is provided given the increasing number of reports citing the low incidence of colorectal neoplasia after an episode of diverticulitis. Throughout the review we focus on the older patient with diverticular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-360
Number of pages12
JournalDrugs & Aging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 18 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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