diverticulum

diverticular, adj.
/duy'veuhr tik"yeuh leuhm/, n., pl. diverticula /-leuh/. Anat.
a blind, tubular sac or process branching off from a canal or cavity, esp. an abnormal, saclike herniation of the mucosal layer through the muscular wall of the colon.
[1640-50; < L, var. of DEVERTICULUM byway, tributary, means of escape, equiv. to deverti- (comb. form of devertere, equiv. to de- DE- + vertere to turn) + -culum -CULE2]

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Small pouch or sac formed in the wall of a major organ, usually the esophagus, small intestine, or large intestine (the most frequent site of problems).

In the large intestine, feces pushed into a pouch can make it bulge out from the colon wall, a condition known as diverticulosis, which has no symptoms. In the more serious condition called diverticulitis, those sacs become inflamed, causing pain and tenderness, chills, and sometimes fever. Mild cases need only bed rest and antibiotics. In severe cases, perforation or rupture of the colon wall at the diverticulum can cause peritonitis. Rupture may require colostomy. Meckel diverticulum, a congenital malformation of the upper intestine that causes bleeding and inflammation, may require surgical removal.

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      any small pouch or sac that forms in the wall of a major organ of the human body. Diverticula form most commonly in the esophagus, small intestine, and large intestine and are most often a problem in the latter organ. Middle-aged and older people are particularly susceptible to the condition because of the inevitable weakening of the muscle walls of the colon with advancing age.

      Fecal matter may be pushed into the pouches that form in the colon and may cause them to bulge out from the colon wall. Such a condition is called diverticulosis. Diverticulosis occurs in 5 to 10 percent of persons over 40 years of age; its cause is unknown, but weakness of the intestinal wall and increased pressure within the channel of the intestine are probably significant factors. Diverticulosis has no symptoms, but the feces-filled sacs may become infected or inflamed, progressing to a more serious condition called diverticulitis. Its symptoms are pain and tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen, chills, and sometimes fever. The presence of diverticulitis can be determined by X rays or computed tomography (CT) scans. The treatment for a mild or moderate case of diverticulitis consists of bed rest, antibiotics, and a liquid diet. A severe case can result in perforation, rupture, ulceration, or hemorrhaging of the colon wall at the site of the diverticulum. In cases of perforation, the surgical removal of portions of the colon, known as a colostomy, may be necessary.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Diverticulum — Classification and external resources MeSH D004240 A diverticulum (plural: diverticula) is medical or biological term for an outpouching of a hollow (or a fluid filled) structure in the body. Depending upon which layers of the structure are… …   Wikipedia

  • DIVERTICULUM — in Glossis, εντροπὴ, καμπὴ ὁδοῦ, i. e. semita quales a via regia secantur aliorsum. Hinc ad fluvios vox traducta. Geographusineditus Salmas. de Nilo, Currit per milia DXX. nullum ostendit diverticulum. Ubi diverticuli nomine intelligit minores… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • diverticulum — [dī΄vər tik′yo͞o ləm] n. pl. diverticula [dī΄vər tik′yo͞olə] [L diverticulum, var. of deverticulum, a bypath < devertere, to turn aside: see DE & VERSE] Anat. a normal or abnormal pouch or sac opening out from a tubular organ or main cavity …   English World dictionary

  • Diverticulum — Div er*tic u*lum, n.; pl. {Diverticula}. [L. See {Diverticle}.] (Anat.) A blind tube branching out of a longer one. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • diverticulum — blind tube (anatomical), 1819, Mod.L., from L. deverticulum a bypath, from devertere to turn aside (see DIVERT (Cf. divert)) …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Diverticulum — A small bulging sac pushing outward from the colon wall is a diverticulum. As a person ages, pressure within the large intestine (colon) causes pockets of tissue (sacs) that push out from the colon walls. The plural is diverticula. Diverticula… …   Medical dictionary

  • diverticulum — n.; pl. diverticula a sac or pouch formed at weak points in the walls of the alimentary tract. They may be caused by increased pressure from within (pulsion diverticula) or by pulling from without (traction diverticula). A pharyngeal diverticulum …   The new mediacal dictionary

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