Collagenous mucosal inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Gastroenterology. 2005 Jul;129(1):338-50. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2005.05.020.


Collagenous mucosal inflammatory diseases involve the columnar-lined gastric and intestinal mucosa and have become recognized increasingly as a significant cause of symptomatic morbidity, particularly in middle-aged and elderly women, especially with watery diarrhea. Still, mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of this diarrhea remain poorly understood and require further elucidation. The prognosis and long-term outcome of these disorders has been documented only to a limited extent. Recent clinical and pathologic studies have indicated that collagenous mucosal inflammatory disease is a more extensive pathologic process that concomitantly may involve several sites in the gastric and intestinal mucosa. The dominant pathologic lesion is a distinct subepithelial hyaline-like deposit that has histochemical and ultrastructural features of collagen overlying a microscopically defined inflammatory process. An intimate relationship with other autoimmune connective tissue disorders is evident, particularly celiac disease. This is intriguing because these collagenous disorders have not been shown to be gluten dependent. Collagenous mucosal inflammatory disorders may represent a relatively unique but generalized inflammatory response to a multitude of causes, including celiac disease, along with a diverse group of pharmacologic agents. Some recent reports have documented treatment success but histopathologic reversal has been more difficult to substantiate owing to the focal, sometimes extensive nature, of this pathologic process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Celiac Disease / metabolism
  • Celiac Disease / pathology*
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / pathology*
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology


  • Collagen