Duodenal Diverticulum (cont.)

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How is a duodenal diverticulum diagnosed?

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Extramural duodenal diverticula are most commonly diagnosed by barium X-rays of the upper gastrointestinal tract. They also may be diagnosed at the time of endoscopy or, less frequently, with ultrasonography. Finally, they also may show up by chance in computerized tomographic (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the abdomen.

How is a duodenal diverticulum treated?

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If treatment is necessary, extramural diverticula can be surgically removed from the outside of the duodenum. The diverticula also may be inverted into the lumen of the duodenum and removed through an incision in the wall of the duodenum. (Sometimes, the diverticulum is inverted but left attached to the wall of the duodenum and protruding into the duodenum.)

What about intramural diverticula?

The cause of intramural diverticula is not clear; however, they are believed to be congenital, that is, present from birth, and may occur as a developmental abnormality of the intestine in the fetus.

Intramural duodenal diverticula most commonly cause obstruction of the duodenum when the diverticulum fills with ingested material. They are commonly diagnosed by barium x-ray studies of the upper gastrointestinal tract but also are seen with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Intramural diverticula are surgically removed through an incision in the wall of the duodenum, although there are reports of treatment using non-surgical, endoscopic means to incise or open up the diverticula so that material does not collect within them.

REFERENCE: MedscapeReference.com. Small Intestinal Diverticulosis.

Last Editorial Review: 7/18/2012

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