Although Meckel’s diverticulum is the commonest congenital gastrointestinal anomaly, there is still debate concerning the proper management of asymptomatic diverticula. Records of all patients whose Meckel’s diverticulum was resected at our hospitals between 1990 and 2002 were reviewed. Clinical characteristics, mode of presentations, and management for all patients were analyzed. Meckel’s diverticula were resected in 68 patients. Patients were divided into two groups: the incidental group included 40 patients (24 males) in whom the diagnosis of diverticula was incidental. The symptomatic group included 28 patients (20 males) who presented with diverticulum-related complications. Preoperative diagnosis was possible in only four cases. In four patients from the symptomatic group, Meckel’s diverticula were found and left untouched during a previous laparotomy. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to gender (p = 0.48). Patients in the symptomatic group were significantly younger than patients in the incidental group (p = 0.002). The diverticula in the symptomatic group tended to be longer (p = 0.001) with a narrower base (p = 0.001) than the diverticula in the incidental group. A diameter of ≤ 2 cm was significantly associated with more complications (p = 0.01). Heterotopic tissue was present more significantly in the symptomatic group than the incidental group (p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in the morbidity rate between the two groups (p = 0.71), and there was no mortality in either group. Preoperative diagnosis of Meckel’s diverticulum is difficult and should be kept in mind in cases of acute abdomen. Resection of incidentally found diverticula is not associated with increased operative morbidity or mortality.
Diverticulitis Intussusception Symptomatic Group Incidental Group Heterotopic Gastric Mucosa
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The authors thank Professor Anwar Batiha, Department of Public Health, Jordan University of Science and Technology, for his help in the statistical work.
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