, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 1571-1576
Date: 03 Jun 2008

Diagnosis and Management of the Symptomatic Duodenal Diverticulum: a Case Series and a Short Review of the Literature

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The incidence of duodenal diverticula (DD) found at autopsy may be as high as 22%. Perforation is the least frequent but also the most serious complication. This case series gives an overview of the management of this rare entity.


This study is a case series of eight patients treated for symptomatic DD.


Two patients had a perforated DD. One perforation was in segments III–IV, which to our knowledge is the first published case; the other perforation was in segment II. A segmental duodenectomy was performed in the first patient and a pylorus-preserving duodeno-pancreatectomy (pp-Whipple) in the second. A third patient with chronic complaints and recurring episodes of fever required an excision of the DD. In a fourth patient with biliary and pancreatic obstruction, a pp-Whipple was carried out, and a DD was discovered as the underlying cause. Four patients (one small perforation, one hemorrhage, and two recurrent cholangitis/pancreatitis caused by a DD) were treated conservatively.


Symptomatic DD and, in particular, perforations are rare, encompass diagnostic challenges, and may require technically demanding surgical or endoscopic interventions. The diagnostic value of forward-looking gastroduodenoscopy in this setting seems limited. If duodenoscopy is performed at all, the use of a side-viewing endoscope is mandatory.