Shadi Al-Bahri, MD, Gregory Burgoyne, MD. Department of Surgery, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD.
Introduction: Meckel’s diverticulum is an uncommon disease process, often presenting as another surgical entity. It is typically described as a disease of youth. We review a national database to evaluate characteristics of patients admitted with Meckel’s diverticulum.
Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was searched for patients with Meckel’s diverticulum (ICD-9 = 751.0) from 2006-2010. Variables studied included age, sex, mortality, length of stay, diagnoses and procedures.
Results: Over 5 years, 11,750 patients were hospitalized with Meckel’s diverticulum (2350 cases annually or 0.006% of hospital admissions each year. Mean age was 34.2 years. Presentation occurred across the age spectrum (see table) with the highest percentage at age 2 and younger (9.8%). 9,575 patients (81.5%) presented at age 10 or over. 8,292 were male (71%) and 3458 were female (29%). Mortality was too low to report a meaningful statistic. Mean length of stay was 5.9 which did not vary considerably over the study period. 10,834 patients (92%) underwent a partial enterectomy (55% diverticulectomy, 45% small bowel resection). 4,941 patients (42%) had an appendectomy during the same admission (60.3% open, 39.7% laparoscopic). Only 1,150 patients (9.8%) required a blood transfusion.
Conclusion: Meckel’s diverticulum is an uncommon disease process which occurs more commonly in males. Most patients underwent a partial enterectomy and the mortality rate was extremely low, even in older patients. Although the most common presentation is at aged 2 or below, two thirds of patients actually present in adulthood.