Analysis of Clinical and Histopathological Findings in Microscopic Colitis

Turk Patoloji Derg. 2022;38(3):275-283. doi: 10.5146/tjpath.2022.01574.


Objective: Microscopic colitis is a chronic inflammatory disorder characterized by a triad of chronic diarrhea, endoscopy without significant abnormality, and distinct histopathological features. Histopathologically, microscopic colitis is divided into 3 subtypes; collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, incomplete microscopic colitis. The main purpose of this study was to analyze the detailed clinicopathological parameters of microscopic colitis cases in the Turkish population.

Material and method: The clinicopathological parameters were evaluated in 53 microscopic colitis cases (37 collagenous colitis, 7 lymphocytic colitis, 9 incomplete microscopic colitis) diagnosed between 2010 and 2019.

Results: All cases had lymphoplasmacytosis. The presence of ≥20 eosinophils/high power field in the lamina propria was remarkable in 75.7%, 57.1%, and 11.1% of collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, and incomplete microscopic colitis cases, respectively. One of the striking findings was the presence of concomitant Celiac disease in 29% of the lymphocytic colitis cases. In terms of drug use, proton pump inhibitors and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were the most commonly used drugs.

Conclusion: The mean age in our series is lower than the literature and a distinct male predominance was observed in lymphocytic colitis and incomplete microscopic colitis, contrary to the literature. These suggest that susceptibility to microscopic colitis may differ between ethnic groups. The presence of overt lymphoplasmacytosis, eosinophilic infiltration and epithelial damage are the microscopic features which should alert the pathologist for the diagnosis of complete microscopic colitis. Given that microscopic colitis is a common treatable cause of chronic diarrhea, awareness of the aforementioned histopathological features is of utmost importance for accurate diagnosis and not to miss incomplete cases.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Colitis, Collagenous* / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Collagenous* / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Collagenous* / pathology
  • Colitis, Lymphocytic* / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Lymphocytic* / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Lymphocytic* / pathology
  • Colitis, Microscopic* / complications
  • Colitis, Microscopic* / diagnosis
  • Diarrhea / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal