The role of colonoscopy in complicated diverticular disease. A review.
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Colonoscopy in complicated diverticular disease may assist the clinician in establishing the diagnosis of associated strictures. A review of the literature shows that carcinoma was identified in 21 (17%) of 125 patients and that an additional diagnosis was made in 40 (32%) patients. Although colonoscopy may be a difficult procedure in patients with diverticular disease the caecum was reached in 27 (61%) of 44 patients and took no longer than routine colonoscopic orpcedures. Further analysis of these results confirms that the barium enema frequently produces both false positive and false negative diagnoses of carcinoma and polyps. The presence of bleeding strongly suggests the presence of a concomitant lesion. Fifteen (11%) carcinomas were identified in a group of 135 patients with persistent rectal bleeding whose barium enema showed only diverticular disease and an additional diagnosis was made in 50 (37%) of these patients. Colonoscopy is an important investigation in patients with complicated diverticular disease.
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