Colonoscopy for Diagnostic Evaluation and Interventions to Prevent Recurrence After Acute Left-Sided Colonic Diverticulitis: A Clinical Guideline From the American College of Physicians Journal Articles uri icon

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  • DESCRIPTION: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to provide clinical recommendations on the role of colonoscopy for diagnostic evaluation of colorectal cancer (CRC) after a presumed diagnosis of acute left-sided colonic diverticulitis and on the role of pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, and elective surgical interventions to prevent recurrence after initial treatment of acute complicated and uncomplicated left-sided colonic diverticulitis. This guideline is based on the current best available evidence about benefits and harms, taken in the context of costs and patient values and preferences. METHODS: The ACP Clinical Guidelines Committee (CGC) based these recommendations on a systematic review on the role of colonoscopy after acute left-sided colonic diverticulitis and pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, and elective surgical interventions after initial treatment. The systematic review evaluated outcomes rated by the CGC as critical or important. This guideline was developed using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) method. TARGET AUDIENCE AND PATIENT POPULATION: The target audience is all clinicians, and the target patient population is adults with recent episodes of acute left-sided colonic diverticulitis. RECOMMENDATION 1: ACP suggests that clinicians refer patients for a colonoscopy after an initial episode of complicated left-sided colonic diverticulitis in patients who have not had recent colonoscopy (conditional recommendation; low-certainty evidence). RECOMMENDATION 2: ACP recommends against clinicians using mesalamine to prevent recurrent diverticulitis (strong recommendation; high-certainty evidence). RECOMMENDATION 3: ACP suggests that clinicians discuss elective surgery to prevent recurrent diverticulitis after initial treatment in patients who have either uncomplicated diverticulitis that is persistent or recurs frequently or complicated diverticulitis (conditional recommendation; low-certainty evidence). The informed decision whether or not to undergo surgery should be personalized based on a discussion of potential benefits, harms, costs, and patient's preferences.


  • Mustafa, Reem Adel
  • Qaseem, Amir
  • Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta, Itziar
  • Lin, Jennifer S
  • Fitterman, Nick
  • Shamliyan, Tatyana
  • Wilt, Timothy J

publication date

  • March 2022