Acute diverticulitis is increasingly being recognized in younger patients, but its management remains controversial.
Dr Greenberg and colleagues from Philadelphia compared long-term outcomes of young patients treated with surgery versus medical therapy for their first episode of diverticulitis.
The researchers retrospectively conducted a chart analysis at a university and an affiliated community hospital between 1991 and 2002.
The analysis revealed that 149 patients of less than or equal to 40 years of age presented with confirmed diverticulitis.
|15% of surgical patients and 55% of medical patients had a recurrence of diverticulitis|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The research team reported that 49 patients, of which 38 were males and 11 were females, were contacted at least 1 year after their first episode of diverticulitis.
The team compared outcomes based on initial therapy of antibiotics or surgical resection.
The investigative team then compared the groups by outcomes, gender, age, white blood cell count, temperature and diet.
The researchers found that 15% of surgical patients, and 55% of medical patients had a recurrence of diverticulitis, both with a mean follow-up of 6 years.
The team noted that the treatment groups did not differ in age, white blood cell count, or temperature.
Dr Greenberg's team concluded, “Surgical treatment is effective initial therapy but disease may recur in a minority of patients.”
“Medical treatment is less effective initial therapy, with recurrence in half of the patients and initial presentation is not a strong predictor of disease recurrence.”