Conservative treatment of uncomplicated right-sided diverticulitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Purpose: Right-sided diverticulitis has different epidemiologic features compared to left-sided diverticulitis. However, data on the appropriate treatment of right-sided diverticulitis are lacking. This systematic review aimed to examine the outcomes of conservative treatment for uncomplicated right-sided diverticulitis. Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for articles published from January 1, 1990, to May 31, 2020. A total of 21 studies were included in the systematic review. We calculated proportions and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the outcomes of individual studies and pooled the results using a random effects model. Results: A total of 2811 patients (59.1% men; mean and median age, 37–54 years) with right-sided diverticulitis were included. The pooled rate of treatment failure was 2.5% (95% CI 1.2–4.3%; p <0.01; I2 = 64.0%). The recurrence rate ranged from 0 to 26.9%, and the pooled recurrence rate was 10.9% (95% CI 8.1–14.1%; p <0.01; I2 = 78.2%). The pooled rate of complicated diverticulitis at recurrence was 4.4% (95% CI 1.4–9.0%; p = 0.84; I2 = 0%). The pooled rate of emergency surgery at recurrence was 9.0% (95% CI 4.6–14.7%; p = 0.12; I2 = 30.3%). Conclusions: Conservative treatment of uncomplicated right-sided diverticulitis results in a low rate of recurrence and complicated diverticulitis at recurrence. Based on these results, unnecessary surgery may be avoided and a new treatment paradigm for uncomplicated right-sided diverticulitis may be introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1799
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021 Aug


  • Conservative treatment
  • Recurrence
  • Right-sided diverticulitis
  • Uncomplicated diverticulitis


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