Do calcium channel blockers and antimuscarinics protect against perforated colonic diverticular disease? A case control study

Morris, C. R.; Harvey, I. M.; Stebbings, W. S. L.; Speakman, C. T. M.; Kennedy, H. J.; Hart, A. R.
December 2003
Gut;Dec2003, Vol. 52 Issue 12, p1734
Academic Journal
Background: The aetiology of perforated colonic diverticular disease (PCDD) remains largely unknown. Perforation may result from a combination of high intracolonic pressures, secondary to excessive colonic segmentation, and impairment of the mucosal barrier. Calcium channel blockers and antimuscarinic drugs, which reduce colonic contractility and tone, could potentially protect against perforation. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis using a case control design. Methods: All cases of acute PCDD were identified over a five year period in two hospitals in Norfolk, UK. Each case was matched for age, sex, and date of admission to two controls groups: (1) patients undergoing cataract surgery and (2) patients with basal cell carcinoma. Data on drug use prior to hospital admission were obtained from medical and nursing records and compared between cases and controls. Results: A total of 120 cases of PCDD were identified and matched to 240 controls in each group. A statistically significant protective association was seen between calcium channel blocker use and PCDD using both control groups. The odds ratios were 0.41 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.18-0.93) using the ophthalmology control group and 0.36 (95% CI 0.16-0.82) using the dermatology control group. Conclusions: This study has shown for the first time that a protective association exists between calcium channel blockers and PCDD. The validity of this association is supported by the consistent finding in both control groups and the plausible biological mechanisms. Further studies are required to confirm this association but calcium channel blockers may represent a potential preventive therapy in PCDD.


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