Zenker's diverticulum

Zenker's diverticulum

Name = Zenker's diverticulum

Caption =
DiseasesDB = 31174
ICD10 = ICD10|K|22|5|k|20
ICD9 = ICD9|530.6
MedlinePlus =
eMedicineSubj = med
eMedicineTopic = 2777
MeshID = D016672
In anatomy, Zenker's diverticulum, also pharyngoesophageal diverticulum, is a diverticulum of the mucosa of the pharynx, just above the cricopharyngeal muscle (i.e. above the upper sphincter of the oesophagus).

It was named in 1877 by German pathologist Friedrich Albert von Zenker. [WhoNamedIt|synd|2461] [F. A. Zenker and Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen. Krankheiten des Oesophagus. Leipzig, 1867. ]


Zenker's diverticulum mainly affects older adults.

Mechanisms and manifestations

In simple words, when there is excessive pressure within the lower pharynx, the weakest portion of the pharyngeal wall balloons out, forming a diverticulum which may reach several centimetres in diameter.

More precisely, while traction and pulsion mechanisms have long been deemed the main factors promoting development of a Zenker's diverticulum, current consensus considers occlusive mechanisms to be most important: uncoordinated swallowing, impaired relaxation and spasm of the cricopharyngeus muscle lead to an increase in pressure within the distal pharynx, so that its wall herniates through the point of least resistance (variously known as Killian's triangle, Laimer's triangle, and the Killian-Laimer triangle). The result is an outpouching of the posterior pharyngeal wall, just above the oesophagus.cite journal |author=van Overbeek JJ |title=Pathogenesis and methods of treatment of Zenker's diverticulum |journal=Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. |volume=112 |issue=7 |pages=583–93 |year=2003 |month=July |pmid=12903677 |doi= |url=] As the outpouching involves solely the mucosa, it is considered a false diverticulum.

While it may be asymptomatic, Zenker diverticulum often causes clinical manifestations such as dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and sense of a lump in the neck; moreover, it may fill up with food, causing regurgitation (reappearance of ingested food in the mouth), cough (as some food may be regurgitated into the airways), halitosis (smelly breath, as stagnant food is digested by microrganisms) and involuntary gurgleing noises when swallowing. It rarely causes any pain.


A simple barium swallow will normally reveal the diverticulum. This may be coupled with oesophageal endoscopy.


If small and asymptomatic, no treatment is necessary. Larger, symptomatic cases of Zenker's diverticulum have been traditionally treated by neck surgery to resect the diverticulum and incise the cricopharyngeus muscle. However, in recent times non-surgical endoscopic techniques have gained more importance (as they allow for much faster recovery), and the currently preferred treatment is endoscopic staplingcite journal |author=Sen P, Bhattacharyya AK |title=Endoscopic stapling of pharyngeal pouch |journal=J Laryngol Otol |volume=118 |issue=8 |pages=601–6 |year=2004 |month=August |pmid=15453934 |doi=10.1258/0022215041917817 |url=] cite journal |author=Chang CY, Payyapilli RJ, Scher RL |title=Endoscopic staple diverticulostomy for Zenker's diverticulum: review of literature and experience in 159 consecutive cases |journal=Laryngoscope |volume=113 |issue=6 |pages=957–65 |year=2003 |month=June |pmid=12782805 |doi= |url=http://meta.wkhealth.com/pt/pt-core/template-journal/lwwgateway/media/landingpage.htm?issn=0023-852X&volume=113&issue=6&spage=957] (i.e. closing off the diverticulum via a stapler inserted through a tube in the mouth). This may be performed through a fibreoptic endoscope.cite journal |author=Altman JI, Genden EM, Moche J |title=Fiberoptic endoscopic-assisted diverticulotomy: a novel technique for the management of Zenker's diverticulum |journal=Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. |volume=114 |issue=5 |pages=347–51 |year=2005 |month=May |pmid=15966520 |doi= |url=]

Other non-surgical treatment modalities exist, such as endoscopic laser, which recent evidence suggests it less effective than stapling.cite journal |author=Miller FR, Bartley J, Otto RA |title=The endoscopic management of Zenker diverticulum: CO2 laser versus endoscopic stapling |journal=Laryngoscope |volume=116 |issue=9 |pages=1608–11 |year=2006 |month=September |pmid=16954989 |doi=10.1097/01.mlg.0000233508.06499.41 |url=http://meta.wkhealth.com/pt/pt-core/template-journal/lwwgateway/media/landingpage.htm?doi=10.1097/01.mlg.0000233508.06499.41]


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zenker's diverticulum — n an abnormal pouch in the upper part of the esophagus in which food may become trapped causing bad breath, irritation, difficulty in swallowing, and regurgitation called also pharyngoesophageal diverticulum compare PULSION DIVERTICULUM …   Medical dictionary

  • Diverticulum — Classification and external resources MeSH D004240 A diverticulum (plural: diverticula) is medical or biological term for an outpouching of a hollow (or a fluid filled) structure in the body. Depending upon which layers of the structure are… …   Wikipedia

  • Zenker — is the name of:* Friedrich Albert von Zenker (1825 1898) was a German pathologist, who named: ** Zenker s degeneration ** Zenker s diverticulum ** Zenker s fixative ** Zenker s paralysis * Hans Zenker (1870 1932) was a German admiral. * Christian …   Wikipedia

  • Diverticulum — A small bulging sac pushing outward from the colon wall is a diverticulum. As a person ages, pressure within the large intestine (colon) causes pockets of tissue (sacs) that push out from the colon walls. The plural is diverticula. Diverticula… …   Medical dictionary

  • Zenker degeneration (necrosis) diverticulum — Zen·ker degeneration (necrosis), diverticulum (tsengґker) [Friedrich Albert von Zenker, German pathologist, 1825–1898] see under degeneration and diverticulum …   Medical dictionary

  • Zenker — Friedrich A., German pathologist, 1825–1898. See Z. degeneration, Z. diverticulum, Z. fixative, Z. paralysis, formol Z. fixative …   Medical dictionary

  • pharyngoesophageal diverticulum — n ZENKER S DIVERTICULUM * * * a diverticulum at the junction of the pharynx and esophagus, at the point of the Killian dehiscence; called also Zenker d …   Medical dictionary

  • pulsion diverticulum — pul·sion diverticulum pəl shən n a diverticulum pushed out from a hollow organ by pressure from within specif a diverticulum of the esophagus as a result of the pressure from within resulting in herniation of the mucosa compare ZENKER S… …   Medical dictionary

  • Friedrich Albert von Zenker — (1825 1898) was a German pathologist and physician, celebrated for his discovery of trichinosis. He was born in Dresden, and was educated in Leipzig and Heidelberg. Attached to the city hospital of Dresden in 1851, he added, in 1855, the duties… …   Wikipedia

  • Zenker diverticulum — pharyngoesophageal d …   Medical dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”