- Meckel Diverticulum is a congenital anatomic abnormality of development resulting in the presence of a single diverticulum in the small intestine. The pathogenesis appears to be due to a failure to obliterate the vitelline duct during development. The important features of meckel diverticula can be memorized with a helpful mnemonic known as the "Rule of 2's": 2% of population affected, 2ft from ileocecal valve, 2 to 1 male/female ratio.
- A Meckel Diverticulum appears as a single diverticulum located approximately 2ft from the ileocecal valve. It is always a 'true diverticulum', meaning it possesses all the histological layers of the GI tract wall. Occasionally, heterotopic tissue is found within the diverticulum, most commonly gastric mucosa or pancreatic tissue.
- Meckel Diverticula are usually asymptomatic but can result in some complications. Lower GI bleeding may arise due to ulcers caused by stomach acid-producing heterotopic gastric mucosa located within the diverticulum. Bowel obstruction may occur due to intussusception or volvulus caused by the diverticulum.
- Meckel Divertiula are not uncommon and arise in approximately 2% of the general population with males two times more commonly affected.