Meckel’s diverticulum is the most common anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a persistence of the omphalomesenteric duct at its junction with the ileum. It can be remembered by the rules of 2: It occurs in 2% of the population; 2% develop complications; complications usually occur before 2 years of age; and it is located within 2 feet of the ileocecal valve. Approximately 50% of resected Meckel’s diverticula contain heterotopic gastric mucosa. The most common complication of Meckel’s diverticulum is painless gastrointestinal bleeding, which occurs secondary to irritation or ulceration by hydrochloric acid produced by the gastric mucosa that lines the diverticulum.
How is Meckels diverticulum diagnosed?
Meckel’s diverticulum is detected by a nuclear medicine scan with technetium-99m ( 99m Tc) pertechnetate. The radiotracer accumulates within the diverticulum, usually appearing at approximately the same time as activity appears within the stomach, with gradually increasing intensity, thereby verifying the presence of ectopic gastric mucosa.