A recent prospective study assessed the risk of a recurrent attack following the first episode of uncomplicated diverticulitis.3 Investigators enrolled patients (n = 280) admitted between January 2007 and December 2011 with a first episode of uncomplicated sigmoid diverticulitis confirmed on computed tomography. Follow-up was conducted after the first episode was successfully managed. Investigators utilized Cox proportional hazards regression to model the impact of various parameters on eventual recurrences and complications.
Results demonstrated that 16.4% of patients experienced a second episode of diverticulitis during the 24-month follow-up. Six patients (2.1%) subsequently developed complicated diverticulitis, and 4 patients (1.4%) underwent emergency surgery for peritonitis.
A multivariable analysis demonstrated that a raised serum level of C-reactive protein (over 240 mg/L) during the first attack was associated with early recurrence (hazard ratio 1.75; 95% CI, 1.04-2.94; P = .035). The authors concluded that there were few recurrences and little need for emergency surgery associated with uncomplicated diverticulitis.
Dr. Reed is a freelance writer in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.