Gut 11:688-696 doi:10.1136/gut.11.8.688
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Faecal stasis and diverticular disease in ulcerative colitis


The incidence of faecal stasis and of diverticular disease has been studied in a group of 399 patients with ulcerative colitis. Sixty-one patients had faecal stasis and 23 patients had diverticular disease. Pathological studies demonstrated an increase in the thickness of the inner spiral muscle in colitis patients with faecal stasis. The thickening was not as great as that seen in diverticular disease. Preliminary studies on the motility patterns in patients with faecal stasis show a higher mean activity in the pelvic colon than in normals but not as great as that seen in diverticular disease. Pressure studies in patients with faecal stasis have shown hypotonia in the proximal colon associated with dilatation.

The possible significance of these results is discussed. It is suggested that ulcerative colitis may initiate a motility disturbance which leads to muscle thickening similar to that in diverticular disease. Diverticula associated with ulcerative colitis are usually not involved in the mucosal inflammatory process.