Long-term outcomes after initial presentation of diverticulitis

John Rose, Ralitza P. Parina, Omar Faiz, David C. Chang, Mark A. Talamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aims to determine the long-term outcomes of diverticulitis and to apply the findings to current practice patterns. Background: The long-term morbidity and mortality of diverticulitis are not well defined. Current practice guidelines for diverticulitis are based on limited evidence. Methods: The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database was queried for longitudinal observations across all hospitals from 1995 to 2009. Recurrence up to 15 years, medical versus surgical treatment, and mortality after recurrence were analyzed for patients after emergent admission for diverticulitis. Results: Among the 210,268 patients admitted emergently with diverticulitis, 179,649 (85%) were managed medically at their index admission. Of these medically managed patients, 27,450 (16.3%) suffered a second diverticulitis episode. On multivariable analysis, predictors of mortality with recurrence included the following [hazard ratio (95% confidence interval)]: age more than 50 years [5.19, (3.05-8.29)]; previous tobacco use [1.40 (1.18-1.66)]; and complicated initial presentation with obstruction [1.33 (1.06-1.65)], abscess [2.18 (1.60-2.97)], peritonitis [3.14 (1.99-4.97)], sepsis [1.88 (1.29-2.73)], and fistula [3.50 (2.17-5.66)]. The mortality of delayed elective surgical intervention after the first episode of emergent diverticulitis was 0.3% compared to 4.6% for emergent resection during a second episode. Conclusions: Eighty-five percent of emergent diverticulitis patients do not recur after initial medical treatment. However, in view of significantly worse outcomes associated with diverticulitis recurrence, resection should be strongly considered for diverticulitis patients older than 50 years or those who present with a complicated clinical picture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1053
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Diverticulitis
  • Elective colectomy
  • Natural history
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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