Within the gastrointestinal tract, true diverticula are out-pouchings that contain all layers of the bowel wall. False diverticula (pseudo-diverticula) are out-pouchings of the mucosa and submucosa emerging through the muscularis propria. While true diverticula are mainly congenital, most pseudo-diverticula are acquired.
Meckel’s diverticulum is a true congenital diverticulum of the small bowel, caused by the incomplete obliteration of the omphalomesenteric (vitelline) duct. In embryonic life, the omphalomesenteric duct connects the yolk sac to the intestinal tract. It usually obliterates within the 5–7th week of gestation. If the obliteration fails, different congenital anomalies develop, leading to residual fibrous cords, umbilical sinus, omphalomesenteric fistula, and, most commonly, Meckel’s diverticulum.
References and Further Reading
- Thirunavukarasu, P., Sathaiah, M., Sukumar, S., Bartels, C. J., Zeh, H., Lee, K. K. W., & Bartlett, D. L. (2011). Meckel’s diverticulum. A high-risk region for malignancy in the ileum. Insights from a population-based epidemiological study and implications in surgical management. Annals of Surgery, 253, 223–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar