Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 122-128

Complicated jejunal diverticulitis: A challenging diagnosis and difficult therapy


Department of Surgery, University of Schleswig Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Luebeck, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Erik Schloericke
University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Luebeck, Department of Surgery, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D - 23538 Luebeck
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.93816

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Background/Aim: In contrast to diverticulosis of the colon, jejunal diverticulosis is a rare entity that often becomes clinically relevant only after exacerbations occur. The variety of symptoms and low incidence make this disease a difficult differential diagnosis. Patients and Methods: Data from all patients who were treated in our surgical department for complicated jejunal diverticulitis, that is, gastrointestinal hemorrhage or a diverticula perforation were collected prospectively over a 6-year period (January 2004 to January 2010) and analyzed retrospectively. Results: The median age among the 9 patients was 82 years (range: 54-87). Except for 2 cases (elective operation for a status postjejunal peridiverticulitis and a re-perforation of a diverticula in a patient s/p segment resection with free perforation), the diagnosis could only be confirmed with an exploratory laparotomy. Perforation was observed in 5 patients, one of which was a retroperitoneal perforation. The retroperitoneal perforation was associated with transanal hemorrhage. Hemodynamically relevant transanal hemorrhage requiring transfusion were the reason for an exploratory laparotomy in 2 further cases. In one patient, the hemorrhage was the result of a systemic vasculitis with resultant gastrointestinal involvement. A singular jejunal diverticulum caused an adhesive ileus in one patient. The extent of jejunal diverticulosis varied between a singular diverticulum to complete jejunal involvement. A tangential, transverse excision of the diverticulum was carried out in 3 patients. The indication for segment resection was made in the case of a perforation with associated peritonitis (n=4) as well as the presence of 5 or more diverticula (n=2). Histological analysis revealed chronic pandiverticulitis in all patients. Median operating time amounted to 142 minutes (range: 65-210) and the median in-hospital stay was 12 days (range: 5-45). Lethality was 0%. Major complications included secondary wound closure after s/p repeated lavage and bilateral pleural effusions in one case. Signs of malabsorption as the result of a short bowel syndrome were not observed. Minor complications included protracted intestinal atony in 2 cases and pneumonia in one case. Median follow-up was 6 months (range: 1-18). Conclusion: Complicated jejunal diverticulitis often remains elusive preoperatively due to its unspecific clinical presentation. A definitive diagnosis can often only be made intraoperatively. The resection of all diverticula and/or the complete diverticula-laden segment is the goal in chronic cases. The operative approach chosen (tangential, transverse excision vs segment resection) should be based on the extent of the jejunal diverticulosis as well as the intraoperative findings.


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