A gas-filled abdominal cyst in an elderly woman: A giant colonic diverticulum case report

Ana Carolina Del Pozo, Vittorio Bartolotta, Sante Capitano, Matteo De Fusco, Leonardo Chiodi, Gianfranco Boccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Giant colonic diverticulum (GCD), a rare complication of the diverticular disease, can present with a wide range of nonspecific symptoms as abdominal pain and bowel obstruction. Its diagnosis represents a challenge that mainly depends on imaging findings. Presentation of case We report the case of a 79 year-old female patient that came to our emergency department complaining of 5-day history of hypogastric pain and constipation. Physical examination reveled a 15 cm hypogastric round, tender and tympanic mass. Enhanced abdominal CT scan showed a large air-filled cyst adjacent to a diverticular sigmoid colon without evidence of intra-abdominal free air or fluid. Based on the radiological features, GCD was suspected and surgical treatment performed. The mass and the sigmoid colon were resected. The postoperative course was uneventful. Histopathology confirmed the preoperative diagnosis. Discussion GCD, defined as a diverticulum larger than 4 cm, represents a rare complication of the diverticular disease. Usually abdominal X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scan show a gas-filled structure, sometimes communicating with the adjacent colon. GCD resection and segmental colectomy are strongly recommended even in asymptomatic cases due to the high incidence and severity of complications. Conclusion Because of its rarity and variable and non-specific clinical presentation, the diagnosis of GCD depends mainly on imaging findings. The gold standard treatment is surgical resection of the GCD and the compromised colon with primary anastomosis when possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-107
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Air-filled cyst
  • Colonic diverticular disease
  • Giant colonic diverticulum
  • Giant sigmoid diverticulum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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