Diverticulosis, symptoms and colonic inflammation: a population-based colonoscopy study

Maria Ellionore Järbrink-Sehgal, Loui Rassam, Aws Jasim, Marjorie M. Walker, Nicholas J. Talley, Lars Agréus, Anna Andreasson, Peter T. Schmidt

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    INTRODUCTION: Low-grade chronic inflammation has been suggested to play a role in uncomplicated asymptomatic and symptomatic diverticular disease. However, population-based studies are lacking. We investigated whether community participants with diverticulosis, with or without symptoms, would have colonic inflammation on histology and serology. METHODS: In a nested case-control study of 254 participants from the population-based colonoscopy (PopCol) study, colonic histological inflammatory markers and serological C-reactive protein levels were analyzed in cases with diverticulosis and controls without diverticulosis. Statistical methods included logistic and linear regression models. RESULTS: Background variables including age (P = 0.92), sex (P = 1.00), body mass index (P = 0.71), smoking (P = 0.34), and recent antibiotic exposure (P = 0.68) were similar between cases and controls. Cases reported more abdominal pain (P = 0.04) and diarrhea symptoms (mushy and high-frequency stools) than controls (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively) but were otherwise similar. The median C-reactive protein levels were similar among cases and controls [1.05 mg/L (0.3, 2.7) vs 0.8 (0.4, 2.2), P = 0.53]. There was a trend of increased numbers of cecal lymphoid aggregates in cases vs controls (P = 0.07), but no other associations between diverticulosis and inflammatory markers on histology were found. Similarly, no serological or mucosal inflammation was associated with symptomatic cases of diarrhea or abdominal pain vs asymptomatic controls. CONCLUSIONS: In a general community sample, both asymptomatic and symptomatic diverticulosis are not associated with colonic mucosal inflammation. Other explanations for symptomatic colonic diverticulosis need to be identified.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)500-510
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe American Journal of Gastroenterology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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