Colonic Diverticulitis : Diagnostic and Therapeutic Aspects

Abstract: The overall aims of this thesis were to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of colonic diverticulitis. In the first study, a systematic review of the literature was performed to evaluate radiological diagnostics for patients with acute left-sided diverticulitis. Forty-nine relevant articles were found and read in full and data were extracted or calculated. Twenty-nine of these were excluded. The best evidence for the diagnosis of diverticulitis in the literature was to be found with US. Only one small study of good quality was found for both CT and MRI. In the second paper, a prospective multicentre study was performed to determine the faecal carriage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic treatment in 208 surgical patients with acute intra-abdominal infections. The highest rates of resistance among Enterobacteriaceae were detected for ampicillin (54%), tetracycline (26%), cefuroxime (26%) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (20%). The prevalence of decreased susceptibility (I + R) for the other antibiotics tested was for ciprofloxacin 20%, piperacillin-tazobactam 17%, cefotaxime 14%, ertapenem 12%, gentamicin 3% and imipenem 0%. ESBL- and AmpC producing Enterobacteriaceae were found in samples from 13 patients (6.3%).  We found high rates of resistance among Enterobacteriaceae against antibiotics which were commonly used in Sweden. In the third paper, a multicentre randomized study was performed to investigate the need of antibiotic treatment in acute uncomplicated diverticulitis. Six hundred and twenty-three patients were randomized to treatment with (314 patients) or without (309 patients) antibiotics. Complications were found in six patients (1.9%) in the no antibiotic and three (1.0%) in the antibiotic group (p=0.302). The median hospital stay was three days in both groups. Recurrent diverticulitis follow-up was similar in both groups (16%, p=0.895). We conclude that antibiotic treatment for acute uncomplicated diverticulitis neither accelerated recovery nor prevented complications or recurrence. Based on the results, antibiotics should therefore be reserved mainly for the treatment of complicated diverticulitis. The fourth paper presents a prospective observational study performed in two centres to evaluate CT colonography in the follow-up of acute diverticulitis as regards patient acceptance and diagnostic accuracy in 108 patients. Patients experienced colonoscopy as more painful (p<0.001) and uncomfortable (p<0.001). Diverticulosis and polyps were detected in 94% and 20% with colonoscopy and in 94% and 29% with CTC, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity for CTC in the detection of diverticulosis was 99% and 67%, with a level of relatively good agreement (К= 0.71). Regarding detection of polyps, the sensitivity and specificity were 47% and 75%, with a poor agreement (К= 0.17). We concluded that CTC was less painful and unpleasant. CTC detected diverticulosis with good accuracy while the accuracy of detection of small polyps was poor. CTC could be an alternative, especially in cases of incomplete colonoscopy or in a situation with limited colonoscopy resources.