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May 1961

Duodenal Diverticulitis with Perforation

Author Affiliations

Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Dr. Zeifer).

Arch Surg. 1961;82(5):746-754. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300110108014

Diverticulosis of the duodenum is not an uncommon finding during routine roentgenographic study of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and is second in incidence only to diverticulosis of the colon. Necropsy studies have revealed diverticula in up to 14.5% of careful duodenal dissections,1 while roentgenographic surveys have disclosed an incidence of only 1% or 2%. The higher figure is probably closer to an accurate estimate for the adult population.

Diverticula of the duodenum were incriminated as the cause of many upper abdominal symptoms in the early part of this century, but with the passage of time and the acquisition of experience the pendulum has swung toward conservatism, and it is the general consensus of surgical opinion that most duodenal diverticula are harmless appurtenances of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Indeed, these structures are viewed with clinical suspicion only after exhaustive surveys have exonerated the stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, and the esophageal hiatus