What is the topic of this study?

Diverticular disease is a disease of the bowel (colon) where small bulges (diverticula) stick out through areas of weakness in the bowel wall. It is very common in Western populations and found more frequently in older people. Most patients with diverticular disease have no problems from it but some will suffer complications that lead to pain, fever and nausea. This can require hospital admission for treatment and occasionally major surgery. The optimal treatment of complicated disease is unclear, and there appears to be considerable variation around the world as to how the condition is treated.

What is the history and aim of this new study?

The DAMASCUS study was established in 2020 to investigate the international variation in management of severe diverticulitis. The aims of the study were to determine variation in treatment and assess whether there was any association between initial treatment and short-term outcomes at 30-days and 6-months. The study has been a huge success, recruiting 6243 patients from 248 hospitals across the whole world. This makes it one of the largest ever studies of patients with severe diverticulitis.

Following a hospital admission with severe diverticulitis the risk of repeated attacks and/or admission appears to be greatest for approximately two years. Therefore, this new funding will extend the follow up of this large and unique group of patients from six months to two years to gain a better understanding of the long-term outcomes. The researchers hope that this longer-term data will guide future management of this condition and trials.

The research team

Mr Dale Vimalachandran from Countess of Chester Hospital leads this UK-wide research team.