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Mesalazine to Treat Symptomatic Uncomplicated Diverticular Disease and to Prevent Acute Diverticulitis Occurrence. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials

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Marcello Picchio1, Walter Elisei2, Antonio Tursi3

1) Division of Surgery, “P. Colombo” Hospital, ASL Roma 6, Velletri (Rome)
2) Division of Gastroenterology, ASL Roma 6, Albano Laziale (Rome)
3) Gastroenterology Service, ASL BAT, Andria (BT), Italy

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.273.pic

Background & Aims: Symptomatic Uncomplicated Diverticular disease (SUDD) affects about 25% of patients harboring colonic diverticula. We assessed the effectiveness of mesalazine in improving symptoms (namely abdominal pain, primary outcome) and in preventing diverticulitis occurrence (secondary outcome) in patients with SUDD.

Methods: Pertinent studies were selected from the Medline and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) (irrespective of language, blinding, or publication status), which compared mesalazine, irrespective of the dosage assumption, with placebo in SUDD were evaluated.

Results: Four RCTs enrolled 379 patients, 197 treated with mesalazine and 182 with placebo. Two studies provided data on symptom relief according to definition: it was achieved in 97/121 (80%) patients in the mesalazine group and in 81/129 (62.7%) patients in the placebo group (OR 0.43; 95% CI 0.24-0.75; p=0.003 in favour of the mesalazine group). Two studies provided information regarding occurrence of diverticulitis during follow-up. It occurred in 23/119 (19.3%) patients in the mesalazine group and in 34/102 (33.3%) patients in the placebo group (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.17-0.70; p=0.003 in favour of the mesalazine group).

Conclusions: Treatment with mesalazine seems to be effective in achieving symptom relief and in the primary prevention of diverticulitis in patients with SUDD.

Key words: controlled trials − diverticular disease − diverticulitis − mesalazine − meta-analysis − placebo.

Abbreviations: PRISMA: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Statement; RCT: Randomized Controlled Trials; SUDD: Symptomatic Uncomplicated Diverticular Disease.