Diverticular disease of the colon in patients under the age of 40 years is uncommon. Between 1975 and 1985, 58 patients (31 men and 27 women) were admitted for pathologically or radiographically proven acute diverticulitis. Seventeen (29.3 percent) were younger than 40 years. Fifteen of the 17 (88.2 percent) required urgent or emergent surgery for complications of diverticular disease. This represents a significantly (P<0.02) larger proportion of that age group than those patients older than the age of 40 (17/41 or 41.5 percent). Twelve of the patients younger than age 40 (70.6 percent) had had their symptoms for 72 hours or less, and in 13, surgery was required during the first attack. Indications for surgery included abscess, perforation, and persistence of symptoms. Six patients required surgery in less than 24 hours. In young people, the initial attack of colonic diverticulitis is frequently severe, often requiring an urgent operation for complications. Excellent results with few complications can be obtained when the index of suspicion is high, an early diagnosis is made, and timely surgical intervention is employed.
- Acute diverticulitis
- Complications of diverticulitis
- Diverticulitis in young people
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