Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 458-464

First online:

Review of the Microscopic Colitides

  • Eugene F. YenAffiliated withDivision of Gastroenterology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem Email author 
  • , Darrell S. PardiAffiliated withInflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

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Microscopic colitis is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in predominantly older adults. Incidence rates of microscopic colitis (including lymphocytic and collagenous colitis) have increased over time to levels comparable to other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. The possibility of drug-induced microscopic colitis is an important consideration when evaluating these patients, although this concept requires further investigation. There are few controlled treatment trials in microscopic colitis, with much of the data on treatment coming from retrospective studies. In patients with microscopic colitis, a systematic approach to therapy often leads to satisfactory control of symptoms. In this review, we will provide an updated assessment of the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of microscopic colitis.


Microscopic colitis Collagenous colitis Lymphocytic colitis