Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Diverticulitis?

Jamie Shalkow, MD


May 09, 2016

Physical findings in patients with diverticulitis mirror the severity of the inflammation and the presence of complications, as follows:

  • In simple diverticulitis, there is localized abdominal tenderness in the area of the affected diverticula, and fever.

  • Left lower-quadrant tenderness is most common, because most diverticula occur in the sigmoid colon.

  • Right lower-quadrant tenderness, mimicking acute appendicitis, can occur in right-sided diverticulitis.

  • In complicated diverticulitis with abscess formation, a tender palpable mass is present.

  • Elderly patients and some patients taking corticosteroids may have unremarkable findings, even in the presence of severe diverticulitis.

For more on the presentation of diverticulitis, read here.


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