Microscopic colitis: Is it a spectrum of inflammatory bowel disease?

Ramprasad Jegadeesan, Xiuli Liu, Mangesh R. Pagadala, Norma Gutierrez, Mujtaba Butt, Udayakumar Navaneethan

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16 Scopus citations


Lymphocytic and collagenous colitis are forms of microscopic colitis which typically presents in elderly patients as chronic watery diarrhea. The association between microscopic colitis and inflammatory bowel disease is weak and unclear. Lymphocytic colitis progressing to ulcerative colitis has been previously reported; however there is limited data on ulcerative colitis evolving into microscopic (lymphocytic or collagenous) colitis. We report a series of six patients with documented ulcerative colitis who subsequently were diagnosed with collagenous colitis or lymphocytic colitis suggesting microscopic colitis could be a part of the spectrum of inflammatory bowel disease. The median duration of ulcerative colitis prior to being diagnosed with microscopic colitis was 15 years. We noted complete histological and/or symptomatic remission in three out of six cases while the other three patients reverted back into ulcerative colitis suggesting lymphocytic or collagenous colitis could present as a continuum of ulcerative colitis. The exact molecular mechanism of this histological transformation or the prognostic implications is still unclear. Till then it might be prudent to follow up these patients to assess for the relapse of inflammatory bowel disease as well as for dysplasia surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4252-4256
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Collagenous colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Ulcerative colitis


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