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Meckel Diverticulum

  • Meckel Diverticulum is a congenital anatomic abnormality of development resulting in the presence of a single diverticulum in the small intestine. The pathogenesis appears to be due to a failure to obliterate the vitelline duct during development. The important features of meckel diverticula can be memorized with a helpful mnemonic known as the "Rule of 2's": 2% of population affected, 2ft from ileocecal valve, 2 to 1 male/female ratio.
  • A Meckel Diverticulum appears as a single diverticulum located approximately 2ft from the ileocecal valve. It is always a 'true diverticulum', meaning it possesses all the histological layers of the GI tract wall. Occasionally, heterotopic tissue is found within the diverticulum, most commonly gastric mucosa or pancreatic tissue.
Clinical Consequences
  • Meckel Diverticula are usually asymptomatic but can result in some complications. Lower GI bleeding may arise due to ulcers caused by stomach acid-producing heterotopic gastric mucosa located within the diverticulum. Bowel obstruction may occur due to intussusception or volvulus caused by the diverticulum.
  • Meckel Divertiula are not uncommon and arise in approximately 2% of the general population with males two times more commonly affected.