Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Zenker's Diverticulum

Zenker's Diverticulum is a posterior pulsion diverticulum which occurs through the Killian's Dehiscence.

Killian's Dehiscence is a potential gap between the oblique and transverse fibres of the inferior constrictor muscle. It is also known as the gateway of tears as it is a potential site of perforation during oesophagoscopy. 

Zenker's diverticulum occurs due to the outpouching of the pharyngeal mucosa at the site of Killian's dehiscence.
There is incoordination between the descending peristaltic wave and the cricopharyngeus muscle at the upper oesophageal spincter which leades to high intra luminal pressure and the mucosal herniation through the weak area of Killian's Dehiscence.

It is not a true diverticulum as it has just the herniation of the pharyngeal mucosa. ( A true diverticulum has all the layers of the oesophageal wall)

It is usually seen in elderly above the age of 60.


1. The most common symptom is Dysphagia, which is intermittent initially and later becomes progressive.
2. Halitosis ( ie. bad breath, well ofcourse because food can get trapped in this pouch)
3. Regurgitation of food and cough.
4. There maybe regurgling sounds in the neck, gurgling sensation on palpation is known as Boyce sign.

Malignancies may develop in 0.5-1% cases.

Diagnosis- Barium Swallow and videofluoroscopy

1. Endoscopic stapling of the diverticulo esophageal sphincter.
2. In patients not fit for major surgeries, Dohlman's surgery may be done.

Hope that helped!
Ashita Kohli

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