Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 173–182 | Cite as

Allergic Predisposition, Histamine and Histamine Receptor Expression (H1R, H2R) Are Associated with Complicated Courses of Sigmoid Diverticulitis

  • Burkhard H. A. von Rahden
  • Christian Jurowich
  • Stefan Kircher
  • Maria Lazariotou
  • Matthias Jung
  • Christoph-Thomas Germer
  • Martin Grimm
2011 SSAT Plenary Presentation



We aimed to evaluate our hypothesis that allergic predisposition and expression of histamine receptors might contribute to complicated courses of sigmoid diverticulitis.


Expression of histamine and histamine receptors (H1R, H2R) was analysed on protein level (immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence (IF)) as well as mRNA level (reverse transcription–PCR (RT-PCR) in surgical specimen of patients (n = 101) having undergone resection for sigmoid diverticulits (n = 57 complicated diverticulitis/n = 44 non-complicated diverticulitis).


The mean number of comorbid diseases per patient was 1.76 ± 1.25. Thirty-nine of 101 patients (38.6%) exhibited allergic predisposition (grass poll, food, drug, pets, etc.). Comorbid diseases were significantly associated with complicated diverticulitis (p = 0.027). Complicated sigmoid diverticulitis was significantly associated with high H1R and H2R expression (p < 0.001). Furthermore, an association of complicated diverticulitis with allergic predisposition was found (odds ratio = 3.2, p = 0.0097). IF double-labelling experiments showed a strong correlation of increased histamine expression with expression of H1R and H2R on intestinal enterocytes (histamine/H1R, rho = 0.841, p < 0.0001 and histamine/H2R, rho = 0.806, p < 0.0001). The results of increased H1R and H2R expression in complicated sigmoid diverticulitis were also detected on mRNA level in a subset of patients (RT-PCR, p = 0.009).


Our findings suggest that allergic predisposition might be another important risk factor for complicated courses of acute sigmoid diverticulitis and linked with histamine receptor expression. Supportive therapies with antihistaminic drugs might become an option. Allergic predisposition might be worth considering when indicating surgery for sigmoid diverticulitis.


Sigmoid diverticulitis Histamine H1 receptor H1R H2 receptor H2R Allergies Allergic predisposition 



The authors thank the assistance of Mrs. Manuela Schneider and Mrs. Sabine Gahn for their technical support. We thank the excellent academy of the chairmen of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemein- und Visceralchirurgie (DGAV) for the financial support. For S.K., the work was supported by the Wilhelm Sander Foundation (grant 2007.068.1).


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burkhard H. A. von Rahden
    • 1
    • 5
  • Christian Jurowich
    • 1
  • Stefan Kircher
    • 2
  • Maria Lazariotou
    • 3
  • Matthias Jung
    • 1
  • Christoph-Thomas Germer
    • 1
  • Martin Grimm
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of General-, Visceral-, Vascular and Pediatric SurgeryUniversity Hospital WuerzburgWuerzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital WuerzburgWuerzburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Cardiac and Thoracic SurgeryUniversity of Wuerzburg HospitalWuerzburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of Craniomaxillofacial and Oral Surgery, Plastic OperationsGeneral Hospital NurembergNurembergGermany
  5. 5.Klinik und Poliklinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral-, Gefäss- und KinderchirurgieUniversitätsklinikum WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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