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This article is about the medical term. For the structures in sea slugs, see Diverticulum (gastropod).
Classification and external resources

A diverticulum (plural: diverticula) is the medical or biological term for an outpouching of a hollow (or a fluid-filled) structure in the body. Depending upon which layers of the structure are involved, they are described as being either true or false.

In medicine, the term usually implies the structure is not normally present. However, in the embryonic stage, some normal structures begin development as a diverticulum arising from another structure.


Guttural pouch: A large (300-500 ml), paired, air-filled ventral diverticulum of the auditory tube found in horses and other Perissodactyla.


Diverticula are described as being true or false depending upon the layers involved:

Human pathology[edit]

Diverticulum of urinary bladder of a 59-year-old man, transverse plane

Diverticula may occur in one of the three areas of the esophagus - the pharyngoesophageal, the midesophageal area or the epiphrenic area of esophagus. Zenker's diverticulum is found three times more frequently in men than in women. It occurs posteriorly through the cricopharyngeal muscle in the midline of the neck. Usually seen in people older than 60 years of age.

Most of these pathological types of diverticulum are capable of harboring an enterolith. If the enterolith stays in place, it may cause no problems, but a large enterolith expelled from a diverticulum into the lumen can cause obstruction.



  1. ^ Vazquez-Jimenez, Dr. Jaime (2003). "Cardiac diverticulum". Orphanet Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  2. ^ Velanovich, V. (1994). "Gastric diverticulum". Surgical Endoscopy 8 (11): 1338–1339. doi:10.1007/BF00188296. PMID 7831610.  edit