For years, the natural course of diverticulitis in the young has been debatable in terms of its severity and recurrence rate, and no consensus has been reached regarding its treatment and timing of surgery.
Dr Lior Karz and colleagues from Israel evaluated by meta-analysis the natural course of acute diverticulitis in the young.
The research team obtained data from electronic databases and manual search of studies comparing the course of diverticulitis in young versus elderly patients.
The age cut-off was selected to be 40–50 years, and only studies using computed tomography as the sole modality for diagnosis were included.
Primary outcomes were surgery during hospitalization and disease recurrence.
|Factors other than age should also be considered when choosing treatment|
|Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The team identified 1080 publications, 12 of which were included.
The total number of patients was 4982.
Most young patients were males, without tendency toward a more complicated disease at admission.
While there was no significant difference in the rate of surgery during hospitalization, young patients underwent more elective surgeries.
The doctors noted that no mortality was recorded among young patients.
The disease recurrence rate was significantly higher than that of elderly patients, however, no study specified the mean follow-up period for each group.
Dr Karz's team concludes, "The course of diverticulitis in the young is not more severe than that in elderly patients; however, the disease tends to recur more often."
"Therefore, while choosing a therapeutic regimen, factors other than age should also be considered."