Management of Diverticular Disease in Scandinavia

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Abstract

Throughout the last century, the incidence of diverticular disease of the colon has increased tremendously in industrialized countries; nevertheless, the management of this condition is still controversial. Although several international guidelines for the management of diverticular disease are based on the same evidence, the recommendations differ greatly, emphasizing the lack of high-quality prospective studies. In Scandinavia, official guidelines for the management of diverticular disease exist only in Denmark. However, the treatment policies are quite similar in all Scandinavian countries. Computed tomography is the first choice for imaging of acute diverticulitis and its complications. Furthermore, the use of antibiotics in uncomplicated diverticulitis is nearly abandoned in Scandinavia, whereas several international guidelines still recommend their use. There is a broad consensus that abscesses secondary to acute diverticulitis can safely be managed with percutaneous drainage, which is in line with international recommendations. The surgical management of perforated diverticulitis with peritonitis is still as controversial in Scandinavia as elsewhere. Common surgical options are laparoscopic peritoneal lavage, primary resection with anastomosis, and primary resection with terminal colostomy (Hartmann’s procedure). Elective sigmoid resection in patients with diverticular disease seems to be performed less frequently in Scandinavia than in other European countries; the right indications are a current matter of debate. Symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease in the absence of diverticulitis has not gained great attention in Scandinavia.

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