What is the medical treatment for enterovesical fistula?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Joseph Basler, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Nonsurgical treatment of colovesical fistulae may be a viable option in patients who cannot tolerate general anesthesia or in selected patients who can be maintained on prolonged antibacterial therapy for symptomatic relief.

Colovesical fistulae in patients with diverticulitis who are deemed to be a surgical risk have been managed conservatively. In highly select patients, nonoperative therapy has been reported as a viable treatment option. Six patients observed for 3-14 years encountered little inconvenience and were without significant complications while on intermittent antibacterial therapy alone. [55] In another study, six patients who declined surgical intervention were monitored and were found to exhibit no significant changes in renal function, and urosepticemia was not documented. [56]

If the fistula closes spontaneously, which occurs in as many as 50% of patients with diverticulitis, requirements for resection depend on the nature of the underlying colonic disease. Some patients tolerate a colovesical fistula so well that surgery is deferred indefinitely. However, although some small studies have suggested conservative management as a reasonable option, no randomized controlled trials have supported conservative management, and careful selection with close follow-up is stressed.

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