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Duodenal Diverticulitis With Spontaneous Perforation

Lon E. Curtis, MD; Thomas J. O'Grady, MD
JAMA. 1966;195(7):582-583. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100070126044.
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DIVERTICULA of the duodenum are a common entity. In an excellent review, Jones and Merendino reported an autopsy series showing an incidence of 0.016% to 22% in the general population, with the incidence increasing with age.1 The experience of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, shows this diagnosis to have been made radiologically 525 times from 1940 to 1952,2 and a Lahey Clinic series reports a 1.9% incidence in 2,000 upper gastrointestinal examinations.3

Despite this incidence, symptoms caused by duodenal diverticula are relatively rare. Most reports show that only 1% to 5% of diverticula discovered by x-ray examination were treated surgically. Of this group, surgery usually was performed because it was felt that the clinical symptoms were due to mechanical problems in the diverticula and surrounding structures. However, the Mayo and Lahey clinics reported good results in only 50% to 65% of patients undergoing surgery. In addition, the


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