Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Colonic diverticulosis, defined as a symptomless acquired disease resulting from the development of multiple diverticula on the colonic wall, is the most common colonic disease in Western industrial countries. The spectrum of acute diverticulitis, resulting from acute inflammation and infection of these diverticula, ranges from localized microperforation with a focal diverticulitis to life-threatening free perforation with generalized purulent or fecal peritonitis. After the initial clinical attack, recurrent episodes are frequently observed. The most common complication of diverticulitis is diverticular abscesses, much more severe when they are not confined to the mesocolon. The severity of a clinical episode of acute colonic diverticulitis is related to the development of pericolic lesions (abscess, fistula, peritonitis). In these conditions, computed tomography is now the diagnostic radiological examination of choice in patients with suspected acute diverticulitis, and should be used without delay in every patient in every clinical episode of acute diverticulitis (1) to confirm the diagnosis of acute diverticulitis, (2) to identify or exclude other causes of abdominal pain, (3) to evaluate the severity and the extent of the acute disease, and (4) to assist the decision management.


Compute Tomography Examination Compute Tomography Finding Colonic Wall Acute Diverticulitis Contrast Enema 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingHôpital Saint-Eloi, CHRU of MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.Department of Medical ImagingHôpital Lapeyronie, CHRU of MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France

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