Nigerian journal of clinical practice

Presentation, distribution pattern, and management of diverticular disease in a Nigerian tertiary hospital.

PMID 23563467


Colonic diverticular disease is one of the most common and costly gastrointestinal disorders among industrialized societies, which have recently been described among Africans. Presentations and distribution pattern of the disease among Africans appeared to be different from that described among the Western population. We embark on this study aimed at evaluating the presentation, distribution pattern, and the management of diverticulosis in our tertiary health facility. A prospective descriptive study of the cases of diverticular disease seen between January 2007 and December 2011 at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. During the 5-year study period, 40 cases were seen. The patients were aged 41-85 years with a median age of 64 years. There were 29 (72.5%) male and 11 (27.5%) female with an average male to female ratio of 3:1. The most common presentation was bleeding per rectum in 28 (70%) patients, which mostly needed transfusion. Ten (25%) patients presented with recurring abdominal pain, whereas one (2.5%) patient presented with abdominal mass and features of intestinal obstruction. Thirty patients were diagnosed on colonoscopy, eight on barium enema, and two on computerized tomography scan. Thirty-four (85%) patients had a pancolonic disease. All the patients were placed on high fiber diet and antibiotics namely ciprofloxacin and metronidazole. Five patients had recurrence within 6 months of follow up, of which one had emergency colectomy. Diverticular disease is no longer a rare disease in Nigeria. It is a common cause of lower gastrointestinal bleeding in elderly patients. High index of suspicion for diverticular disease of the colon and its complications should increase in the country.