Recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of microscopic colitis

Authors Curt Tysk, Anna Wickbom, Nils Nyhlin, Sune Eriksson, Johan Bohr.


Microscopic colitis, comprising collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis, is a common cause of chronic diarrhoea. It is characterised clinically by chronic watery diarrhoea and a macroscopically normal colonic mucosa where diagnostic histopathological features are seen on microscopic examination. The annual incidence of each disorder is 4-6/100000 inhabitants, with a peak incidence in individuals 60-70 years old and a noticeable female predominance in collagenous colitis. The aetiology is unknown. Chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and faecal incontinence are common symptoms that impair the health-related quality of life of the patient. There is an association with other autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease, thyroid disorders, diabetes mellitus, and arthritis. Budesonide is the best-documented treatment, both short-term and long-term. Recurrence of symptoms is common after withdrawal of successful budesonide therapy, and the optimal long-term treatment strategy needs further study. The long-term prognosis is good, and the risk of complications including colonic cancer is low. We review epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of microscopic colitis,

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