Acute diverticulitis can usually be diagnosed on the basis of history and physical examination. Laboratory tests may be of help when the diagnosis is in question.
A hemogram may reveal leukocytosis and a left shift, indicating infection. However, the absence of leukocytosis does not rule out diverticulitis; 20%-40% of patients have a normal white blood cell count. This is particularly true in patients who are immunocompromised, in elderly patients, and in those with less severe disease. A hemoglobin level is important when the patient reports hematochezia.
Chemistries may be helpful in the patient who is vomiting or has diarrhea, to assess electrolyte abnormalities. Renal function is assessed before administration of most intravenous contrast material.
Liver tests and lipase measurement may help to exclude other causes of abdominal pain.
For more on the workup of diverticulitis, read here.
Medscape © 2016
Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.
Cite this: Jaime Shalkow. Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Diverticulitis? - Medscape - May 09, 2016.