II. Epidemiology

  1. Most common cause of significant Gastrointestinal Bleeding in children
  2. Meckel's Diverticulum occurs equally in both genders
    1. Complications are more common in males by ratio of 3:2
  3. Lifetime complication rate: 4%
    1. More than 50% of complications occur before age 10

III. History

  1. Initial report by Hildanus in 1598
  2. Detailed description by Johann Meckel in 1809

IV. Pathophysiology: Meckel's Diverticulum

  1. Meckel's Diverticulum is the most common congenital malformation of the Gastrointestinal Tract
  2. Incomplete closure of vitelline duct (omphalomesenteric remnant)
    1. Omphalomesenteric duct (vitelline duct) connects primitive gut to Yolk Sac in early fetal development
    2. Duct typically closes and obliterates when the placenta replaces the Yolk Sac at 7 weeks gestation
    3. Incomplete elimination of the Omphalomesenteric duct (vitelline duct) results in various remnants
      1. Meckel's Diverticulum
      2. Enterocyst
      3. Fibrous Cord
      4. Fistula
  3. Characteristics
    1. Meckel's Diverticulum contains all intestinal wall layers (serosa, Muscle, submucosa, mucosa)
    2. Meckel's Diverticulum may be lined with gastric mucosa (85%) and other heterotopic tissue
      1. Ectopic tissue occurs most often at the Diverticulum tip
      2. Gastric mucosa acid secretion may lead to ulceration, bleeding
      3. Other heterotopic tissue
        1. Pancreatic tissue
        2. Brunner's glands
        3. Duodenal mucosa
        4. Colonic mucosa
        5. Hepatobiliary mucosa
        6. Endometrial mucosa
    3. Blood supply is ultimately from superior Mesenteric Artery (derived from omphalomesenteric artery)
  4. Location
    1. Proximal to ileocecal valve by 100 cm
    2. Usually within 45 to 60 cm of ileocecal valve
  5. Follows the rule of 2's (roughly)
    1. Affects 2% of the population (range 0.4 to 4%)
    2. Often presents before age 2 years
    3. May contain two types of ectopic tissue, such as gastric (85%) and pancreatic tissue
    4. Symptomatic presentations or complications affect 2-4% of those with Meckel's Diverticulum
    5. If symptoms are to occur, they occur by age 2 years in 50% of cases (age 10 in some references)
    6. Occurs 2 feet (up to 100 cm) proximal to the ileocecal valve
    7. Meckel's Diverticulum is 2 cm wide and 2 cm long

V. Findings

  1. Episodic Rectal Bleeding
    1. Painless intermittent bleeding is the most common presentating symptom in children
    2. Bleeding may occur from ulceration of gastric or pancreatic ectopic tissue, or from intermittent intussception
  2. Acute Meckel's Diverticulitis and other complications (e.g. obstruction)
    1. Abdominal Pain
    2. Intractable Vomiting
    3. Tachycardia

VI. Differential Diagnosis: Meckel's Diverticulitis

VII. Complications: Meckel's Diverticulum

  1. Meckel's Diverticulum has an overall complication rate of 4%
  2. GI Bleeding (25-50% of complications)
    1. Often associated with ectopic gastric mucosa
    2. Profuse Hemorrhage may occur
    3. Hemorrhage is most common presentation under age 2
    4. Resolves spontaneously in most cases
  3. Meckel's Diverticulitis (10 to 20% of complications)
    1. Similar in presentation to Appendicitis
  4. Bowel Obstruction (14 to 53% of cases, esp. adults)
    1. Volvulus at fibrotic band attached to abdominal wall
    2. Intussusception
    3. Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia (Littre's Hernia)
  5. Bowel Perforation
  6. Malignancy
    1. Carcinoid Tumor
    2. Sarcoma
    3. Stromal Tumor
    4. Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Adenoma of Pancreatic Tissue
    5. Miscellaneous tumors and adenocarcinomas

VIII. Imaging

  1. Radionuclide Scintigraphy (Meckel's Scan)
    1. Performed via IV injection of Sodium Tc-pertechnetate
    2. Preferential uptake by gastric tissue
      1. Detects ectopic gastric mucosa
    3. Most accurate test in Meckel's Diverticulum
      1. Test Sensitivity: 85% in children
      2. Test Specificity: 95% in children
    4. Less accurate in adults
      1. Cimetidine increases accuracy in adults
  2. Small Bowel enema
    1. Indicated for negative scintigraphy in adults
  3. Arteriography (indicated for acute Hemorrhage)
  4. Tests to evaluate differential diagnosis (but not typically useful in diagnosis of Meckel's Diverticulum or Diverticulitis)
    1. Abdominal XRay
    2. Abdominal Ultrasound
      1. May show blind-ended thick-walled loop eminating from Small Bowel
      2. Evaluates for other diagnosis (e.g. intussception, Appendicitis)
    3. CT Abdomen and Pelvis with oral and IV contrast
      1. Excludes other Abdominal Pain causes (e.g. Appendicitis, Small Bowel Obstruction)
      2. Meckel's Diverticulum or Diverticulits is missed unless perforation or other complications are present

IX. Evaluation

  1. Maintain a high index of suspicion
    1. Delayed diagnosis is common

X. Management: Meckel's Diverticulum

  1. Symptomatic (e.g. Meckel's Diverticulitis)
    1. Prompt surgical resection of Meckel's Diverticulum
    2. Segmental bowel resection indications
      1. Perforation
      2. Intestinal Ischemia
      3. Ectopic tissue extends to Diverticulum junction or into intestinal mucosa
  2. Asymptomatic incidental finding on other surgery
    1. Resect all symptomatic cases (as above)
    2. Prophylactic resection of Meckel's Diverticulum indications
      1. Age <8 years old (some guidelines recommend <40 years old)
      2. Male gender (higher complication rate)
      3. Meckel's Diverticulum >2 cm

XI. References

  1. Thompson and Ruttan (2021) Crit Dec Emerg Med 35(5):12-3
  2. Townsend (2001) Sabiston Surgery, Saunders, p. 907-9
  3. Cullen (1994) Ann Surg 220:564-9 [PubMed]
  4. Kuru (2018) 110(11): 726-32 [PubMed]
  5. Rossi (1996) AJR 166:567-73 [PubMed]
  6. Yahchouchy (2001) J Am Coll Surg 192:658-62 [PubMed]

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Related Studies

Ontology: Meckel Diverticulum (C0025037)

Definition (MSHCZE) Vrozený divertikl vyskytující se u některých osob na tenkém střevě jako zbytek embryonální tkáně. Může být zdrojem zánětu, krvácení nebo střevní neprůchodnosti. Je přítomen cca u 1% populace. (cit. Velký lékařský slovník online, 2013 http://lekarske.slovniky.cz/ )
Definition (NCI) A congenital pouch in the distal ileum. It may cause painless rectal bleeding and bowel obstruction.
Definition (MSH) A congenital abnormality characterized by the outpouching or sac formation in the ILEUM. It is a remnant of the embryonic YOLK SAC in which the VITELLINE DUCT failed to close.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047) , Congenital Abnormality (T019)
MSH D008467
ICD9 751.0
ICD10 Q43.0
SnomedCT 127962001, 37373007, 204685004, 204686003, 204689005, 156955000, 264256006, 253775007, 204690001
LNC LP30125-6, MTHU012047
English Meckel's diverticulum NOS, Meckel's diverticulum unspec., Meckel's diverticulum, unspecified, Persist omphalomesenteric duct, MECKEL DIVERTICULUM, Diverticulum Meckel's, Meckel's diverticulum (diagnosis), persistent omphalomesenteric duct (diagnosis), persistent omphalomesenteric duct, Diverticulum of Meckel, Ileal diverticulum, Diverticulum ilei, Meckel Diverticulum, Meckel diverticulum, Meckel Diverticulum [Disease/Finding], meckel diverticulum, meckel's diverticulum, diverticulum meckel, diverticulum meckel's, diverticulum meckels, diverticulum meckels's, Meckel's diverticulum, unspecified (disorder), (Persistent omphalomesenteric duct) or (persistent vitelline duct), (Meckel's diverticulum) or (persistent omphalomesenteric duct) or (persistent vitelline duct), Persistent vitelline duct (disorder), (Meckel's diverticulum) or (persistent omphalomesenteric duct) or (persistent vitelline duct) (disorder), (Persistent omphalomesenteric duct) or (persistent vitelline duct) (disorder), Meckel's diverticulum NOS (disorder), Meckel's diverticulum (body structure), Meckel's Diverticulum, Diverticulum, Meckel, Meckel's diverticulum, Persistent intestinal end of vitelline duct, Persistent omphalomesenteric duct, Persistent vitelline duct, MD - Meckel's diverticulum, Meckel's diverticulum (disorder), Meckel's diverticulum (morphologic abnormality), Meckel; diverticulum, diverticulum; Meckel, duct; omphalomesenteric, persistent; omphalomesenteric duct, persistent; vitelline duct, Meckels diverticulum, meckels diverticulum
Swedish Meckels divertikel
Dutch divertikel van Meckel, Meckel-divertikel, Meckel; divertikel, divertikel; Meckel, ductus; omphalomesentericus, persisterend; ductus omphalomesentericus, persisterend; ductus vitellinus, Divertikel, Meckel's, Meckel's divertikel
Japanese メッケルケイシツ, Meckel憩室, メッケル憩室, 先天性臍腸管膜憩室, 臍腸間膜憩室
Czech Meckelův divertikl
Finnish Meckelin divertikkeli
Korean 멕켈 곁주머니(게실)
Latvian Mekeļa divertikuls
French Diverticule iléal de Meckel, Diverticule de Meckel
Polish Uchyłek Meckela, Uchyłek jelita krętego
Hungarian Meckel féle diverticulum, Diverticulum Meckel
Norwegian Meckels divertikkel, Diverticulum ilei, Diverticulum ilei verum, Diverticulum Meckeli
Spanish divertículo de Meckel, SAI, divertículo de Meckel (estructura corporal), divertículo de Meckel, no especificado (trastorno), divertículo de Meckel, no especificado, divertículo de Meckel, SAI (trastorno), Divertículo de Meckel, conducto onfalomesentérico persistente, conducto vitelino persistente, divertículo de Meckel (anomalía morfológica), divertículo de Meckel (trastorno), divertículo de Meckel, porción final intestinal del conducto vitelino persistente, Divertículo Ileal
Portuguese Divertículo do Íleo, Divertículo de Meckel, Divertículo Ileal
German Meckel-Divertikel, Meckelsches Divertikel
Italian Diverticolo di Meckel

Ontology: Meckel's diverticulitis (C0267497)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
SnomedCT 48241004
Italian Diverticolite di Meckel
Dutch Meckel-diverticulitis, diverticulitis van Meckel
German Meckel-Divertikulitis, Meckel' Divertikulitis
Japanese メッケル憩室炎, メッケルケイシツエン
English Meckel Diverticulitis, Meckel's Diverticulitis, Diverticulitis Meckel's, Meckel diverticulitis, Meckel's diverticulitis, Meckel's diverticulitis (disorder)
Czech Meckelova divertikulitida, Zánět Meckelova divertiklu
Hungarian Meckel-diverticulitis
Spanish diverticulitis de Meckel (trastorno), diverticulitis de Meckel, Diverticulitis de Meckel
Portuguese Diverticulite de Meckel
French Diverticulite de Meckel