Administration of corticosteroids in a patient with diverticulosis may be followed by diverticulitis with intra-abdominal infection. A patient with diverticular disease should be carefully monitored for signs of ruptured diverticulitis while receiving corticosteroids.


Effects of corticosteroids that may contribute to progression of diverticular disease:

(1) reduction of the inflammatory response

(2) impaired wound healing


Findings that should raise concern for in a person with known or suspected diverticulosis who is receiving corticosteroids:

(1) previous history of acute diverticulitis

(2) prolonged and/or high dose corticosteroids

(3) fever of unknown origin (FUO)

(4) complaints of abdominal discomfort, pain or tenderness

(5) atypical signs of peritonitis


The presence of abdominal symptoms in an older adult being treated with corticosteroids should result in evaluating the patient for diverticulitis.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.