Diverticula are saclike mucosal outpouchings that protrude from a tubular structure. True diverticula contain all layers of the parent structure. False or pseudodiverticula are mucosal projections through the muscular layer. Esophageal (see Esophageal and Swallowing Disorders: Esophageal Diverticula) and Meckel's diverticula are true diverticula. Colonic diverticula are pseudodiverticula; they cause symptoms by trapping feces and becoming inflamed or infected, bleeding, or rupturing.
Last full review/revision November 2007 by Michael C. DiMarino, MD