Meckel's diverticulum

Last reviewed: 29 May 2022
Last updated: 08 Apr 2022

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • age <2 years
  • passage of bright red blood per rectum (haematochezia)
  • intractable constipation (obstipation)
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • male sex
  • nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • lower abdominal pain
  • diffuse abdominal tenderness
  • palpable abdominal mass
  • hypotension/tachycardia
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • there are no known risk factors
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • FBC
  • technetium-99m pertechnetate scan ('Meckel's scan')
  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis
  • ultrasound of the abdomen
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • contrast enema
  • mesenteric angiography
  • endoscopic exploration of the small intestine
  • surgical exploration of the abdomen
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

asymptomatic

symptomatic

Contributors

Authors

Ali Tavakkoli, MBBS, FRCS, FACS
Ali Tavakkoli

Chief

Division of General and GI Surgery

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Associate Professor of Surgery

Harvard Medical School

Boston

MA

Disclosures

AT declares that he has no relevant financial conflicts related to this topic.

Acknowledgements

Dr Ali Tavakkoli would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Gordon G. Wisbach, a previous contributor to this topic.

Disclosures

GGW declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Sina Dorudi, PhD, FRCS, FRCS (Gen)

Professor of Surgical Oncology

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon

The Royal London Hospital

London

UK

Disclosures

SD declares that he has no competing interests.

Wael El-Matary, MBBCh, MD, MRCP

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

University of Alberta

Edmonton

Alberta

Canada

Disclosures

WEM declares that he has no competing interests.

Stephen Kavic, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery

University of Maryland

Baltimore

MD

Disclosures

SK declares that he has no competing interests.

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