Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Ulcerative Colitis

  • Ann DriessenEmail author
Reference work entry


Colitis ulcerosa


Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory process of the colon, beginning in the rectum and extending proximally in the colon. This inflammatory process is continuous and normally limited to the mucosa. In case of pancolitis, the inflammation may involve the first centimeters of the ileum, the so-called backwash ileitis. Rarely, a left-sided colitis is associated with an area of inflammation in the caecum, named the caecal patch.

The pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis is not fully elucidated. It is a multifactorial process, in which besides genetic factors, other factors such as the innate immune system and environmental factors, in particular the intestinal flora, play a role. Genome-wide association studies have shown that in ulcerative colitis, numerous genes are involved. These genes are responsible for different functions such as the maintenance of epithelial integrity, innate immune function, immune regulatory function, and in cellular...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Danese, S., & Fiocchi, C. (2011). Ulcerative colitis. The New England Journal of Medicine, 365, 1713–1725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fenoglio-Preiser, C. M., Noffsinger, A. E., Stemmermann, G. N., Lantz, P. E., & Isaacson, P. G. (2008). Gastrointestinal pathology. An atlas and text (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Geboes, K. (2009). What histologic features differentiate Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis? Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 14, S168–S169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Magro, F., Langner, C., Driessen, A., Ensari, A., Geboes, K., Mantzaris, G. J., Villanacci, V., Becheanu, G., Nunes, P. B., Cathomas, G., Fries, W., Jouret-Mourin, A., Mescoli, C., de Petris, G., Rubio, C. A., Shepherd, N. A., Vieth, M., & Eliakim, R. (2013). European consensus on the histopathology of inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of Crohns and Colitis, 7, 827–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Odze, R. D., & Goldblum, J. R. (2009). Surgical pathology of the GI tract, liver, biliary tract, and pancreas (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier.Google Scholar
  6. Ordas, I., Eckmann, L., Talamini, M., Baumgart, D. C., & Sandborn, W. J. (2012). Ulcerative colitis. Lancet, 380, 1606–1619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital AntwerpEdegemBelgium
  2. 2.Maastricht University Medical CentreMaastrichtThe Netherlands