NYMC Faculty Publications

Failure of Nonoperative Management in Patients with Acute Diverticulitis Complicated by Abscess: a Systematic Review

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International Journal of Colorectal Disease

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Review Article

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess failure rates following nonoperative management of acute diverticulitis complicated by abscess and trends thereof.

METHOD: Pubmed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were systematically searched. Nonoperative management was defined as a combination of nil per os, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, CT scan-guided percutaneous drainage, and total parenteral nutrition. The primary endpoint was failure of nonoperative management defined as persistent or worsening abscess and/or sepsis, development of new complications, such as peritonitis, ileus, or colocutaneous fistula, and urgent surgery within 30-90 days of index admission. Data were stratified by three arbitrary time intervals: 1986-2000, 2000-2010, and after 2010. The primary outcome was calculated for those groups and compared.

RESULTS: Thirty-eight of forty-four eligible studies published between 1986 and 2019 were included in the quantitative synthesis of data (n = 2598). The pooled rate of failed nonoperative management was 16.4% (12.6%, 20.2%) at 90 days. In studies published in 2000-2010 (n = 405), the pooled failure rate was 18.6% (10.5%, 26.7%). After 2000 (n = 2140), the pooled failure rate was 15.3% (10.7%, 20%). The difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.725). After controlling for heterogeneity in the definition of failure of nonoperative management, subgroup analysis yielded the pooled rate of failure of 21.8% (16.1%, 27.4%).

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis found that failure rates following nonoperative management of acute diverticulitis complicated by abscess did not significantly decrease over the past three decades. The general quality of published data and the level and certainty of evidence produced were low.