Meckel’s Diverticulum


Other Known Aliasesnone

DefinitionVestigial remnant of the omphalomesenteric duct 

Clinical SignificanceIt is the most common malformation in the GI tract and is mainly asymptomatic.  When symptoms do occur, it commonly presents as painless, rectal bleeding in children.  The “Rule of 2s” will help you remember the facts of this pathology:

  • Effects 2% of the population
  • 2% of these will be symptomatic by age 2
  • 2 types of heterotopic tissue
  • Boy-to-girl ratio is 2:1
  • Usually 2″ in length
  • 2′ from the ileocecal valve

Image result for meckel's diverticulumImage result for meckel's diverticulum

History – Named after Johann Friedrich Meckel, the Younger (1781-1833), who was born into a prestigious medical family, with his father and grandfather already prolific physicians and professors of medicine in Halle, Prussia.  He made tremendous advancements in the area of anatomy and embryonic development with special attention to birth defects and abnormalities, where he pioneered the early study of teratology.  He first described the abnormality which bears his name in 1809.

Johann Friedrich Meckel.jpg


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  3. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Stallion A, Shuck JM.  Meckel’s Diverticulum.  Surgical Treatment: Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented.  2001 [pubmed]
  6. Blackbourne LH.  Surgical Recall.  6th ed. 2012
  7. J. F. Meckel. Über die Divertikel am Darmkanal. Archiv für die Physiologie, Halle, 1809, 9: 421–453
  8. Klunker R, Göbbel L, Musil A, Tönnies H, Schultka R. Johann Friedrich Meckel the Younger (1781-1833) and modern teratology. Annals of Anatomy. 2002; 184(6):535-40. [pubmed]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s