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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

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    Dr Andrew Sutherland

    Colorectal Surgeon (Bowel)

    I am a specialist colorectal surgeon treating a range of bowel diseases and am committed to providing the best of care for all patients. It … View Profile

    Diverticulitis, or infection and inflammation of diverticular disease of the colon, can be diagnosed a number of different ways.  

    The clinical diagnosis is based on someone with severe lower abdominal pain typically on the left hand side with fever and disturbance of bowel function.  Simple blood tests will show elevation of inflammatory markers (tests for inflammation or infection).  Often this may be all that is required before treatment with antibiotics is started.

    If the diverticulitis is thought to be more severe, or if other diagnoses are thought possible, then a CT scan is the most reliable method of making the diagnosis.

    On the other hand simple diverticular disease or diverticulosis can be diagnosed by colonoscopy, CT scan or barium enema.

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