Although rifaximin is currently advised in managing symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD) of the colon, no long-term data are available. This retrospective study assessed the outcome of a large cohort of patients with SUDD, treated with rifaximin, during an 8-year follow-up. The study group (group A) included 346 patients with SUDD (median age 64 years, IQR 58–69, 62.4% females), treated with rifaximin 800 mg/d for 7 days every month. The control group (group B) included 470 patients with SUDD (median age 65 years, IQR 59–74 years, 60.8% females), taking any other treatment on demand. Two symptoms (left lower abdominal pain and bloating) were assessed by a visual analog scale (VAS), graded from 0=no symptom to 10=the most severe symptom. Daily bowel movements were also reported. Median (IQR) VAS score for pain was 6 (5–7) in group A and 6 (6–7) in group B at baseline (p=0.109); at 8-year follow-up it was 3 (3–4) and 6 (5–7), respectively (p<0.000). Both bloating and daily bowel movements were significantly reduced in group A. Acute diverticulitis occurred in 9 (2.6%) patients in group A and in 21 (4.5%) patients in group B (p=0.155). Surgery occurred in 4 (1.2%) patients in group A and 9 (1.9%) in group B (p=0.432). Disease-related mortality occurred in no patient in group A and 2 (0.4%) patients in group B (p=0.239). No side effects were recorded during the entire study period. Rifaximin is effective to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of disease-related complications in patients with SUDD.
- abdominal pain
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Contributors Conception and design of the study: FDM, AT. Acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data: FDM, CM, GC, AV, AN, MF, GB, WE, MP, AT. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content: FDM, WE, MP, AT. Final approval of the version to be submitted: FDM, CM, GC, AV, AN, MF, GB, WE, MP, AT.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.