Diverticular disease: Pathology review


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Diverticular disease: Pathology review


Peritoneum and peritoneal cavity



Upper gastrointestinal tract disorders

Cleft lip and palate

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Esophageal web

Tracheoesophageal fistula

Pyloric stenosis



Oral candidiasis

Ludwig angina

Aphthous ulcers

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Dental abscess

Gingivitis and periodontitis

Dental caries disease

Oral cancer

Warthin tumor

Barrett esophagus


Plummer-Vinson syndrome

Mallory-Weiss syndrome

Boerhaave syndrome

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Zenker diverticulum

Diffuse esophageal spasm

Esophageal cancer

Eosinophilic esophagitis (NORD)


Gastric dumping syndrome

Peptic ulcer


Cyclic vomiting syndrome


Gastric cancer

Lower gastrointestinal tract disorders


Imperforate anus


Meckel diverticulum

Intestinal atresia

Hirschsprung disease

Intestinal malrotation

Necrotizing enterocolitis


Tropical sprue

Small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome

Celiac disease

Short bowel syndrome (NORD)

Lactose intolerance

Whipple's disease

Protein losing enteropathy

Microscopic colitis

Crohn disease

Ulcerative colitis

Bowel obstruction

Intestinal adhesions


Gallstone ileus

Abdominal hernias

Femoral hernia

Inguinal hernia

Small bowel ischemia and infarction

Ischemic colitis

Familial adenomatous polyposis

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome

Gardner syndrome

Juvenile polyposis syndrome

Colorectal polyps

Colorectal cancer

Carcinoid syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome


Diverticulosis and diverticulitis


Anal fissure

Anal fistula


Rectal prolapse

Liver, gallbladder and pancreas disorders

Crigler-Najjar syndrome

Biliary atresia

Gilbert's syndrome

Dubin-Johnson syndrome

Rotor syndrome



Portal hypertension

Hepatic encephalopathy


Wilson disease

Budd-Chiari syndrome

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Cholestatic liver disease

Hepatocellular adenoma

Autoimmune hepatitis

Alcohol-induced liver disease

Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency

Primary biliary cirrhosis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis


Neonatal hepatitis

Reye syndrome

Benign liver tumors

Hepatocellular carcinoma


Biliary colic

Acute cholecystitis

Ascending cholangitis

Chronic cholecystitis

Gallstone ileus

Gallbladder cancer


Acute pancreatitis

Pancreatic pseudocyst

Chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Gastrointestinal system pathology review

Congenital gastrointestinal disorders: Pathology review

Esophageal disorders: Pathology review

GERD, peptic ulcers, gastritis, and stomach cancer: Pathology review

Inflammatory bowel disease: Pathology review

Malabsorption syndromes: Pathology review

Diverticular disease: Pathology review

Appendicitis: Pathology review

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Pathology review

Colorectal polyps and cancer: Pathology review

Neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal system: Pathology review

Pancreatitis: Pathology review

Gallbladder disorders: Pathology review

Jaundice: Pathology review

Viral hepatitis: Pathology review

Cirrhosis: Pathology review


Diverticular disease: Pathology review

USMLE® Step 1 questions

0 / 3 complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 67-year-old man presents to the emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain. The patient reports dull, cramping pain primarily over his left abdomen for the past three days. He additionally reports several episodes of non-bloody diarrhea, fevers, and chronic constipation. He was seen by his primary care physician for his symptoms and was given a course of antibiotics, but his symptoms have persisted. He reports an episode of diarrhea this morning. His past medical history is significant for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. His surgical history is notable for a cholecystectomy at age 44. His temperature is 37.9°C (100.2°F), pulse is 98/min, respirations are 18/min and blood pressure is 162/94 mmHg. Physical examination shows a non-distended abdomen with tenderness to palpation in the left lower quadrant with rebound and guarding. Laboratory results show an elevated leukocyte count. Which of the following best describes the pathophysiology of this disease process?  


Content Reviewers

Yifan Xiao, MD


Antonia Syrnioti, MD

Zachary Kevorkian, MSMI

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Salma Ladhani, MD

At the gastroenterology clinic, there is a 62- year- old male from Germany, named Karl, who came in for his regular colonoscopy.

He is totally asymptomatic, except for occasional vague abdominal discomfort after meals.

Next, a 65- year- old Native American named James came to the emergency department after two episodes of painlessly passing fresh, red blood in his stool.

Finally, Zendaya, a 78- year- old African- American female, was brought to the hospital from a nursing home by paramedics, due to a severe pain in the left lower abdomen which started this morning.

Her temperature was measured at 101.8°F or 38.8°C at the nursing home.

On further history, they all had diets low in fiber and high in fat and red meat and suffered from chronic constipation.

Zendaya’s nursing home attendant reports that lately her constipation has been even worse than usual; in fact, her last bowel movement was more than three days ago.

Karl, James and Zendaya all have diverticula in the colon.

Diverticula are small outpouchings that form along the walls of a hollow structure, most commonly, the large intestine.

According to their pathogenesis, diverticula can be broadly grouped into traction and pulsion diverticula.

Traction diverticula occur due to the pulling forces of an adjacent inflammatory site, resulting in scarring and outpouching of all layers of the intestinal wall.

These are also known as true diverticula.

Next, there’s pulsion diverticula, which are a result of high pressures created during a strained bowel movement.

The pressure pushes on the mucosa and submucosa until they bubble out through weak spots along the wall, like where a blood vessel penetrates the muscle layer of the intestine.

These are also known as false or pseudodiverticula since they don’t involve all layers of the intestinal wall.

For your exams, it’s important to know that, most of the time, diverticula in the large intestine, and particularly, the left and sigmoid colon, are pulsion or false diverticula.


  1. "Fundamentals of Pathology" H.A. Sattar (2017)
  2. "Robbins Basic Pathology" Elsevier (2017)
  3. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  4. "Review article: the pathophysiology and medical management of diverticulosis and diverticular disease of the colon" Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2015)
  5. "Management of lower gastrointestinal tract bleeding" Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology (2008)
  6. "Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis" Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2016)
  7. "Etiology and Pathophysiology of Diverticular Disease" Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery (2004)

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