Colonic diverticulosis, defined as the presence of pouches or herniations formed from the colon's mucosa and submucosa, is a rather common condition in the elderly population. A low-fiber diet is assumed to be the main risk factor. The majority of patients are asymptomatic, whereas inflammatory changes and infections of diverticula can lead to symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, bloating, and even lower gastrointestinal bleeding. Computed tomography is the main diagnostic procedure used for detecting colonic diverticulosis.
Diverticulosis is a term denoting the presence of several sac-like structures that stem from the mucosa and submucosa of the intestinal wall, and it's almost exclusive location in the large intestine explains why the term "colonic diverticulosis" is used     . In recent years, it has become evident that colonic diverticulosis is quite commonly found in the senile population primarily living in the Western world, with the single most important risk factor being a low-fiber diet   . Furthermore, obesity and certain drug groups (opioids, corticosteroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) have also been associated with colonic diverticulosis . The clinical presentation is asymptomatic in 70-80% of patients, which is supported by the fact that they are one of the most frequent incidental findings on colonoscopy   . Symptoms may appear in the presence of an infection (termed diverticulitis), while diverticular disease refers to the development of typical lower gastrointestinal tract symptoms - abdominal pain (often on the left side), cramping, fever, and bloating    . Altered bowel habits (more commonly constipation than diarrhea) and a sense of fullness in the lower left quadrant are also reported, whereas painless rectal bleeding (abrupt and sometimes voluminous) is a highly indicative sign of an ongoing disease in the lower gastrointestinal tract  . Both acute and chronic course of illness has been reported .
The diagnosis of colonic diverticulosis must be considered in old-age patients who present with lower gastrointestinal tract related symptoms. A properly obtained history is the first step, during which assessment of risk factors, such as dietary intake of fiber and use of various drugs, as well as the course and progression of symptoms, should be noted. Physical examination can reveal tenderness in the lower left quadrant in symptomatic patients, while palpation of the sigmoid colon in this area is also seen in colonic diverticulosis . To solidify the diagnosis, imaging studies need to be performed. Barium enema was previously considered as the gold standard in the evaluation of colonic diverticulosis, but in the presence of an intestinal perforation, the contrast material may reach extraintestinal tissue and cause complications . For this reason, computed tomography (CT) has emerged as the optimal procedure   . The presence of air-filled pouches arising from the colonic wall, primarily located in the sigmoid colon, are hallmarks of colonic diverticulosis . In addition, ultrasonography has been described as a beneficial method in certain studies, describing diverticula as hypoechoic or anechoic structures protruding from the colonic wall that shows signs of hypertrophy . Finally, colonoscopy should be employed as a definite method if inconclusive findings are obtained from CT or ultrasonography, although CT colonography is becoming a suitable replacement, being less invasive but equally effective than colonoscopy .