NYMC Faculty Publications

Systematic Review of Failure of Nonoperative Management in Complicated Sigmoid Diverticulitis with Abscess

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Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

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PURPOSE: The aim of this systematic review was to determine the rates of failure following nonoperative management for acute sigmoid diverticulitis complicated by abscess.

METHODS: Pubmed and Medline were systematically searched by two independent researchers. Studies reporting outcomes of nonoperative management of diverticulitis with abscess revealed on CT scan were included. The endpoint of the study was failure of nonoperative management which included relapse and recurrence. Relapse was defined as development of additional complications such as peritonitis or obstruction that required urgent surgery during index admission or readmission within 30 days. Recurrence was defined as development of symptoms after an asymptomatic period of 30-90 days following nonoperative management. Nonoperative management included nil per os, intravenous fluids and antibiotics, CT-guided percutaneous drainage, and/or total parenteral nutrition.

RESULTS: Twenty-four of 844 studies yielded by literature search totaling 12,601 patients were eligible for inclusion. Pooled relapse rate was 18.9%. The pooled rate of recurrence of acute diverticulitis was found to be 25.5%. 60.9% of recurrences were complicated diverticulitis. Failure rate appeared to be significantly increased in patients undergoing percutaneous drainage for distant abscess as compared with pericolic abscess (51% vs. 18%; p = 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: The rate of failure of nonoperative management was 44.4%. The rate of relapse at 30 days following nonoperative management was at 18.9%. Distant abscesses were associated with significantly increased rates of relapse compared with pericolic abscesses. The rate of recurrence following nonoperative management was 25.5% at the mean follow-up of 38 months.

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