Efficacy of 5-ASA in the treatment of colonic diverticular disease

Luigi Gatta, Nimish Vakil, Dino Vaira, Alberto Pilotto, Margherita Curlo, Giuseppe Comparato, Gioacchino Leandro, Umberto Ferro, Maurizio Lera, Sergio Milletti, Francesco Di Mario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the therapeutic efficacy of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) in patients with colonic diverticular disease performing a systematic review of the literature. DATA SOURCES: Cochrane Trial Register (until Issue 4, 2008), Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (1966 to October 1, 2008), Excerpta Medica Database (1980 to October 1, 2008), and abstracts from the major US, European, and Asian gastroenterology conferences. Expert opinions sought and reference lists of identified studies and any relevant published reviews checked. STUDY SELECTION: Randomized controlled trial (RCT) or a controlled clinical trial with a parallel group design using 5-ASA as 1 treatment arm. RESULTS: Six RCTs enrolling 818 patients were found: 3 were performed in patients with uncomplicated diverticulitis, and the remaining in patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease. The results of these studies showed that patients treated with 5-ASA had significantly better outcomes and that also mesalazine scheduled daily was superior to cyclic administration to prevent relapse of diverticular disease. However, several of these studies have not included an endoscopy at the start of the study and when patients had recurrences. CONCLUSIONS: From this systematic review, it seems that 5-ASAs may have a role in patients with colonic diverticular disease. However, high-quality well-designed RCTs are necessary to confirm these initial observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • 5-ASA
  • Diverticular disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • Mesalazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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