BACKGROUND: The epidemic increase in the incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) worldwide represents a potential source of surgical morbidity. The impact of DM on the need for surgical management and its effect on surgical outcomes for colonic diverticulitis have not been well defined. METHODS: We investigated all DM versus non-DM patients admitted with a diagnosis of acute diverticulitis between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2011, to a large urban safety net hospital. An administrative database search for patients with diverticulitis was divided into two groups: those with and without DM. They were retrospectively analyzed for severity of diverticulitis (Hinchey and Ambrosetti scores), mortality, length of hospital stay, need for operation, postoperative complications, and readmission rates. RESULTS: There were 1,019 admissions with acute diverticulitis, 164 (16.1%) of which had DM. DM versus non-DM patients presented with a higher Hinchey score of 3 or 4 (12.2% vs. 9.2%, p < 0.001), a more severe computed tomographic Ambrosetti score (43.9% vs. 31.7%, p < 0.001), older age, and significantly more comorbid conditions. There was no significant difference in the failure of nonoperative management (2.2% DM vs. 2.5% non-DM, p = 1.000), readmission, or death rates. Operated DM patients had a higher incidence of in-hospital infectious complications (28.7% vs. 8.2%, p < 0.001) and a higher incidence of acute renal failure (5.5% vs. 0.7%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Although diabetic patients with colonic diverticulitis present at a more advanced level (as measured by Hinchey and Ambrosetti scores), the nonoperative success rate is similar to non-DM patients. Surgical management in DM patients is associated with a higher incidence of infectious complications and acute kidney injury. However, DM did not appear to increase operative mortality in surgically managed patients. These data suggest that greater attention should be placed on steps to reduce the negative impact of DM on both immune response and renal function in patients requiring surgery of colonic diverticulitis.
- Acute care surgery
- Nonoperative management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine