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Features and management of colonic diverticular disease.

Diverticular disease is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal conditions to afflict Western populations. Although the majority of patients with diverticulosis remain asymptomatic, about one third will develop symptoms at some point in their lives. Symptomatic diverticular disease can range from chronic mild gastrointestinal distress to acute bouts of diverticulitis complicated by abscess or frank colonic perforation. The mainstay of treatment of symptomatic diverticular disease has long been bowel rest, antibiotics, and pain control, reserving surgery for those with complicated disease. This review discusses the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and management of the spectrum of diverticular disease, including recent advances in the treatment of chronic diverticular disease.

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