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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Dec 28;14(48):7280-8.

Diagnosis and management of microscopic colitis.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Orebro University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden.


Microscopic colitis, comprising collagenous and lymphocytic colitis, is characterized clinically by chronic watery diarrhea, and a macroscopically normal colonic mucosa where diagnostic histopathological features are seen on microscopic examination. The annual incidence of each disorder is 4-6/100,000 inhabitants, with a peak incidence in 60-70-year-old individuals and a noticeable female predominance for collagenous colitis. The etiology is unknown. Chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue and fecal incontinence are common symptoms, which impair the health-related quality of life of the patient. There is an association with other autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders and arthritis. Budesonide is the best-documented short-term treatment, but the optimal long-term strategy needs further study. The long-term prognosis is good and the risk of complications including colonic cancer is low.

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