Meckel's diverticulum in adults: seldom suspected and frequently found.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1136/jim-2020-001581


Meckel's diverticulum (MD) is a well-defined diagnosis in children presenting with either bleeding or obstruction. Although anecdotally adult patients may present with complications from MD, their presentation seems to be different, with a reported predominance of non-bleed-related presentations. Reports in this population, however, are limited, and little is known of the epidemiology of MD in older patients. We performed a retrospective analysis of the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality National Inpatient Sample of all US hospital discharges from 2012 to 2016. We identified patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of MD. Data were abstracted as raw numbers and population weighted rates of discharge with age group, income level, length of stay (LOS) and hospital charges as additional information. On average, 2030 individuals were discharged annually; most (71.1%) were adults ( > 18 years). Although MD was predominant in males in all age groups, the gender ratio decreased with older age categories from 3.5:1.0 (1-17 years) to 1.6:1.0 (65-84 years). LOS averaged 5.3 days with no clear relationship to other parameters. Median income category, however, closely correlated (R2=0.9996) with diagnosis in older age categories. MD may be significantly more prevalent in adult patients than was previously understood. Differences in gender preponderance suggest that gender may influence the pattern of presentation. Diagnosis in older individuals is closely associated with income or socioeconomic status but not hospital charges or LOS.

Journal Title

Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research





First Page


Last Page



digestive system surgical procedures; gastrointestinal hemorrhage; intestinal diseases

Library Record