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Acute Diverticulitis No Worse in Younger Patients

They have more severe CT presentation and readmissions but not worse disease course

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Younger patients do not have worse clinical presentation of acute diverticulitis, according to a study published online April 23 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

Nir Horesh, M.D., from Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated first-time patient admissions for acute diverticulitis (January 2004 through December 2013). Patients were categorized by age (50 years and younger [n = 177] or over 50 years [n = 459]).

The researchers found no significant difference between the groups in disease complexity, peritonitis, laboratory workup, vital signs on presentation, bowel obstruction, presence of fistula, or abscess in need of drainage. On CT scan, younger patients had more free extra luminal air. Need for emergency surgery, need for additional surgery, and intraoperative Modified Hinchey score did not differ between the groups. More readmissions due to acute diverticulitis, diverticular complications, and elective surgery were seen in young patients. The older group had longer length of stay and more postoperative complications. There was no difference in mortality.

“Clinical presentation of acute diverticulitis does not seem to be worse in the young population,” the authors write. “Younger patients tend to have a more severe presentation on CT scan and more re-admissions, but this did not translate to more severe disease course.”

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