Is conservative management an option for patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Elie M Ghoulam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The treatment approach for diverticulitis can be broadly classified into either uncomplicated disease or complicated disease, and it takes into account a few other special considerations. [15] Acute uncomplicated diverticulitis is successfully treated in 70%-100% of patients with conservative management. [34, 35, 36] Patients who present to the emergency department with uncomplicated diverticulitis appear to be able to be safely discharged on oral antibiotics, provided computed tomography (CT) scan findings have been evaluated. [37] However, those whose CT scan findings reveal complicated disease should be admitted for inpatient management with surgical consultation. [37]

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) suggests selective, rather than routine, use of antibiotics in patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis. [5, 38] Some studies indicate that nonantibiotic management of acute uncomplicated diverticulitis is safe and feasible. [31, 39]

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