Bleeding colonic diverticula.
J Clin Gastroenterol. 2008 Nov-Dec;42(10):1156-8
Authors: Lewis M,
Diverticula of the large intestine constitute a common source of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding both occult and massive and are a particular common cause of right-sided colonic hemorrhage. Bleeding in all cases is due to rupture of the underlying vasa rectum. In all cases, rupture of the artery is not circumferential, but eccentric having occurred toward the lumen of the diverticula. It is rare to see either acute or chronic diverticulitis associated with this situation. Lower GI bleeding is frequent in the elderly secondary to diverticular disease and occurs in about 10% to 30% GI bleeds and actually is much less frequent than upper GI bleeding. Diverticular disease actually is uncommon in people under the age of 40. However, by the age of 50 almost one-third of the population has diverticulosis. Ninety percent of the diverticula are in the left colon, but bleeding is from the right colon at least 50% of the time. Diverticular hemorrhage will cease spontaneously in about 90% cases. Most often, there is no inflammatory process around the diverticular bleeding. Hypertension even may be a predisposing factor. Also anticoagulation, diabetes mellitus, and ischemic heart disease are associated with diverticular hemorrhage. As far as treatment is concerned, conservative therapy is usually the best approach. One would like to avoid angiography and surgery if at all possible. There is a significant recurrence of bleeding in those patients who are treated even with angiography and with surgery. Etiology of the bleeding is not really well understood and the diagnosis and treatment is quite difficult in some situations.
PMID: 18936658 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]