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Sugery Article and Summary

This article studies the association between family history and recurrent diverticulitis after an episode managed nonoperatively.

Here is a summary of the article:

This article is a retrospective cohort entitled “Family History Is Associated With Recurrent Diverticulitis After an Episode of Diverticulitis Managed Nonoperatively.” It was published in 2020, so it is a very recent study. It is an important topic of research because the impact of family history on patients with diverticulitis outcomes has not been well described previously. THe study was conducted at two McGill University-affiliated tertiary care hospitals in Canada. The patients in this study included all immunocompetent patients with CT-proven left-sided diverticulitis who were initially managed nonsurgically from 2007-2017 at the two facilities mentioned above. The primary outcome studied was diverticulitis recurrence, more than sixty days after the initial episode. 

The study found that compared to patients with no family history of diverticulitis, patients with family history had a younger median age of diagnosis. They also had a four fold increased hazard of diverticulitis recurrence. In addition, the patients in this study with family history were more likely to present with complicated disease that required percutaneous drainage on the index admission and complicated recurrence (independent of the severity of the index episode.) 

These findings are important because they can help providers decide which patients should be considered for an elective colectomy. Knowing that a strong family history has an increased risk for recurrence and complications may become important factors in the discussion with the patient. The article did conclude that more research on the genetic predisposition of diverticulitis would be beneficial in understanding the etiology of why family history of diverticulitis has an association with the recurrence of the condition. 

I thought this article was very interesting, and approached this issue from an angle that I had not thought about before. Most of the articles I have seen focused on the dietary habits of patients with diverticulitis, so new research into the correlation with family history was fascinating to me. Most of the patients with diverticulitis that I met on my surgery rotation did not report a relevant family history, so based on this article, I am hopeful that they will not have an increased risk of recurrence after non-operative treatment. 

Here is the article: