Current and Evolving Concepts on the Pathogenesis of Diverticular Disease
Background and Aims: Diverticulosis of the colon is the most common anatomic alteration of the human colon, and it is characterized by the out-pouching of the colonic mucosa and submucosa through the muscular layer. Recurrent abdominal pain is experienced by about 20% of patients with diverticulosis, and inflammation of diverticula may lead to acute diverticulitis. In the past few years, several studies have investigated the factors predisposing or triggering diverticular disease (DD) occurrence. Moreover, new physiopathological knowledge has been acquired. The aim of this study was to review current knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of DD.
Methods: A search of PubMed and EMBASE database was performed to identify articles relevant to the pathogenesis of DD.
Results: Several papers have shown that genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and colonic dysmotility are implicated in the pathogenesis of DD. More recent studies have associated specific host immune responses, gut microbiota imbalance and therefore low-grade inflammation as contributors to symptom occurrence in DD and diverticulitis.
Conclusions: Current and evolving evidence highlighted the role of genetic susceptibility, environment, colonic motility, visceral sensitivity, immune response, and microbiota in the pathogenesis of this disease. Further studies are required to identify potential targets for medical or surgical decision-making.