Diverticulosis is a digestive condition characterised by small pouches (diverticula) that protrude from the walls of the large intestine.

The true prevalence of diverticulosis is difficult to determine because most patients are asymptomatic. It is age dependent and relatively uncommon in people aged under 40, although in recent years there has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence in this age group. In people aged over 65 the prevalence is up to 65%.

About 80 to 85% of people affected by diverticulosis remain asymptomatic, and 10 to 15% develop symptomatic diverticular disease including acute diverticulitis and its complications (perforation, abscess formation, haemorrhage, fistula and obstruction).

Key aspects of this guideline include the management of diverticulosis, diagnosis and management of diverticular disease, acute diverticulitis and complicated acute diverticulitis

Areas of the guideline with the potential for the greatest impact on practice include CT scanning for acute diverticulitis and offering resection or lavage for bowel perforations.