Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Meckel Diverticulum


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is Meckel diverticulum. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how Meckel diverticulum will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


When it comes to standardized exams, each topic has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for Meckel diverticulum

  • Painless blood in the stool: often times this is melena (darker in color) 

Question # 1

A 11 year old boy has weakness, skin pallor, and has been passing black shiny stools for the past week. He has no abdominal pain or other associated symptoms. The patient’s hematocrit is measured to be 25%. An abdominal scintigram, using technetium 99m pertechnetate, shows uptake in the right lower quadrant. This uptake is separate from the activity in the stomach. kidneys. and bladder. What is the most likely diagnosis?

Explanation # 1


Question # 2


Explanation # 2



Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying topic. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the topic’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:

  • Cause: failed obliteration of the omphalomesenteric (vitalize) duct (which occurs during the 7th week of embryonic development). 
  • Is it a true or false diverticula: this condition is a true diverticula, and contains all parts of the intestinal wall (mucosa, submucosa, and muscular layers) 
  • What tissue is in the diverticula: most commonly gastric tissue is found in this diverticula (however pancreatic, colonic, jejunal, duodenal, and even endometrial tissues can be found here). 
  • What is the cause of bleeding: the gastric tissue in this diverticula produces acid which leads to ulceration and eventual bleeding. 
  • How to diagnosis: Meckel scan can detect ectopic gastric tissue in the intestine (i.e. the Meckel diverticula)


Page Updated: 01.22.2017