The Many Faces of Meckel’s Diverticulum: Update on Management in Incidental and Symptomatic Patients

  • Robbert-Jan Lindeman
  • Kjetil SøreideEmail author
Small Intestine (D Sachar and AC Stein, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Small Intestine


Purpose of Review

Meckel’s diverticulum may be detected incidentally or present with symptoms from infancy and to old age. The presentation may be acute, with several complications associated with the condition. We aim to review the many faces with which a Meckel’s diverticulum may present, either symptomatically or as an incidental finding.

Recent Findings

Due to its rarity, recent studies mainly include small retrospective series or case reports. Emphasis in the recent literature is on clinical presentation, the pathology of symptomatic cases, management options and risks of neoplasia. Symptoms are mainly caused by obstruction, bleeding or diverticulitis. Cross-sectional imaging is unspecific, although capsule endoscopy is reported of use in case series. Meckel’s diverticulum presents with clinical features that are age-specific. Complicated Meckel’s diverticulum is treated by resection. Optimal treatment of incidental cases remains debated.


Meckel’s diverticulum usually stays asymptomatic, and decision-making for management should be based on patient-specific factors. Use of minimal invasive techniques mandates refinement of the optimal treatment.


Meckel’s diverticulum Small bowel Obstruction Bleeding Perforation Neuroendocrine tumor Complication 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryStavanger University HospitalStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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