Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Meckel’s Diverticulum

  • Cord LangnerEmail author
Reference work entry


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.

Fabricius Hildanus made the earliest description of the anomaly in 1598. However, it was not until 1809 that the histogenesis of the lesion was correctly identified by...
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References and Further Reading

  1. Park, J. J., Wolff, B. G., Tollefson, M. K., Walsh, E. E., & Larson, D. R. (2005). Meckel diverticulum. The mayo clinic experience with 1476 patients (1950–2002). Annals of Surgery, 241, 529–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Sagar, Y., Kumar, V., & Shah, D. K. (2006). Meckel’s diverticulum: A systematic review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 99, 501–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. Uppal, K., Tubbs, R. S., Matusz, P., Shaffer, K., & Lukas, M. (2011). Meckel’s diverticulum: A review. Clinical Anatomy, 24, 416–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Zani, A., Eaton, S., Rees, C. M., & Pierro, A. (2008). Incidentally detected Meckel diverticulum. To resect or not to resect? Annals of Surgery, 247, 276–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria