Microscopic colitis: Current status, present and future challenges: statements of the European Microscopic Colitis Group

J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Oct;6(9):932-45. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Microscopic colitis (MC) is an inflammatory bowel disease presenting with chronic, non-bloody watery diarrhoea and few or no endoscopic abnormalities. The histological examination reveals mainly two subtypes of MC, lymphocytic or collagenous colitis. Despite the fact that the incidence in MC has been rising over the last decades, research has been sparse and our knowledge about MC remains limited. Specialists in the field have initiated the European Microscopic Colitis Group (EMCG) with the primary goal to create awareness on MC. The EMCG is furthermore a forum with the intention to promote clinical and basic research. In this article statements and comments are given that all members of the EMCG have considered being of importance for a better understanding of MC. The paper focuses on the newest updates in epidemiology, symptoms and diagnostic criteria, pathophysiology and highlights some unsolved problems. Moreover, a new treatment algorithm is proposed on the basis of new evidence from well-designed, randomized control trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Microscopic / diagnosis*
  • Colitis, Microscopic / epidemiology
  • Colitis, Microscopic / etiology
  • Colitis, Microscopic / therapy*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Budesonide