Diverticular disease

Colonic diverticula are formed by mucosal outpouching from the colonic wall. Their presence increases with increasing age with most, in Caucasian, being situated in the left colon. The aetiology of these outpouchings is not fully understood but dietary, lifestyle and genetic factors have all been implicated. Most patients with diverticula are asymptomatic (diverticulosis); however, approximately 20% develop symptoms such as intermittent abdominal pain and change in bowel habit and are said to have symptomatic diverticular disease.

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