What is diverticulitis?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Elie M Ghoulam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Diverticular disease (diverticulosis, diverticulitis) is a general term that refers to the presence of diverticula, small pouches in the large intestinal (colonic) wall. These outpouchings arise when the inner layers of the colon push through weaknesses in the outer muscular layers. [1] Notably, diverticulosis can occur anywhere in the colon, but it is most common in the left colon (descending or sigmoid colon).

See Can't-Miss Gastrointestinal Diagnoses, a Critical Images slideshow, to help diagnose the potentially life-threatening conditions that present with gastrointestinal symptoms.


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