Oesophageal diverticulum

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Dalia Ibrahim et al.

Oesophageal diverticula are sac or pouch projections arising from the oesophagus.

They can occur in all ages but more frequent in adults and elderly people.

Oesophageal diverticula are either:

  • true diverticula: include all oesophageal layers
  • false diverticula: contain only mucosa and submucosa herniating through the muscular layer (e.g. Zenker diverticulum)

Oesophageal diverticula are classified according to the mechanism of formation into:

  • traction diverticula: occurs secondary to pulling forces on the outer aspect of the oesophagus
  • pulsion diverticula: occurs secondary to increased intraluminal pressure (e.g. Zenker diverticulum)

They can be classified according to their location:

  • traction diverticula: are (true diverticula) which occur secondary to scarring, fibrosis and inflammatory processes (tuberculous adenitis) in the mediastinum pulling on the oesophageal wall
  • pulsion diverticula: are usually false diverticula and occur secondary to abnormal increased intraluminal pressure against a weak oesophageal segment
Oesophageal pathology
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Article information

rID: 30267
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Oesophageal diverticula
  • Diverticula of oesophagus
  • Esophageal diverticulum
  • Esophageal diverticula

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: Zenker diverticulum
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  • Case 2: middle traction diverticulm
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  • Case 3: lower epiphrenic diverticulum
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6: pulsion diverticulum
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  • Case 7: upper oesophageal diverticulum
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