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March 7, 1959


Author Affiliations

Spokane, Wash.

From the Rockwood Clinic.

JAMA. 1959;169(10):1019-1024. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000270001001

Facts potentially useful in the diagnosis and treatment of diverticulitis of the colon were sought in a study of 70 patients in whom that condition was found at operation. Forty were men, and the youngest patient was 39 years old. In 16 the symptoms were acute; in 19 there had been intermittent trouble for years. Symptoms varied, and there were 18 patients in whom none of the symptoms was gastrointestinal. In 14 the preoperative diagnosis had been neoplastic disease of the intestine or pelvic organs. Leukocytosis was present in only half of the patients; the same was true of fever. Gross bleeding occurred in 13. Roentgenologic examination did not always distinguish between presence and absence of inflammatory changes, and in 11 instances the radiologic report was decidedly misleading. In 62 patients the lesion involved the sigmoid colon; in 35 of these it was treated by primary section and anastomosis. The experience of the authors with this operation has been favorable, and they urge that it be carried out, when appropriate, before serious complications can develop.