Abstract BACKGROUND: Diverticulosis is extremely common in western society. A recent study has shown that outpatient, non-antibiotic management of acute uncomplicated diverticulitis may be a feasible and safe option. However the ability to identify these patients is still difficult. This study explores the ability of white cell count, C-reactive protein and bilirubin in differentiating patients with complicated and uncomplicated diverticulitis as well as progression to surgical intervention. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of patients admitted with acute diverticulitis over a 5-year period (2009-2014) at a single institution in Australia. Patients were classified into three groups; uncomplicated diverticulitis, complicated diverticulitis without surgery and complicated diverticulitis with surgery. ANOVA and Bonferroni's post-hoc analyses were used to compare markers across the groups. RESULTS: A total of 541 patients met the inclusion criteria for this study. One-way ANOVA showed a significant difference in white cell count (p<0.0001), C-reactive protein (p<0.0001) and bilirubin (p=0.0006) between all three groups. Post-hoc analyses showed a significant difference in white cell count, C-reactive protein and bilirubin when comparing uncomplicated diverticulitis against complicated diverticulitis without surgery (p<0.05) and complicated diverticulitis with surgery (p<0.05). White cell count also showed a significant difference when comparing complicated diverticulitis without surgery and complicated diverticulitis with surgery (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: White cell count, C-reactive protein and bilirubin can distinguish between uncomplicated and complicated diverticulitis.

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