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Prevalence of microscopic colitis in patients with chronic diarrhea

Gokhan Pektas; Meral Soylu Sozen; Ayhan Vurmaz; Osman Ersoy.

Microscopic colitis affects nearly 10% of the patients with chronic diarrhea which is defined as an increase in the number of daily defecation or the amount of stool lasting more than 4 weeks. The present study aims to analyze the Prevalence of Microscopic Colitis in patients who have admitted to a tertiary health center due to chronic diarrhea with unidentified etiology. This is a retrospective review of 54 patients (31 men and 23 women) with chronic diarrhea who were admitted to the gastroenterology department of the study center between July 2009 and July 2010. Data related with the patient age, patient gender, laboratory findings and histopathological alterations were obtained from hospital files. The men and women included in this study were statistically similar with respect to their mean age (36.4 ±11.1 years vs 43.1 ±18.0 years, p=0.125). The male and female patients with cheronic diarrhea had statistically similar incidences of duodenitis (8/31 vs 11/23, 25.8% vs 47.8%, p=0.097). These men and women had also statistically similar incidences of terminal ileitis (10/31 vs 8/23, 32.3% vs 34.8%, p=0.847) respectively. The male and female patients with chronic diarrhea had statistically similar incidences of non-specific colitis (19/31 vs 12/23, 61.3% vs 52.2%, p=0.499). However, non-specific colitis was significantly more frequent in patients with normal duodenum biopsy than patients with duodenitis (24/35, 68.6% vs 7/19, 36.8%; p=0.008). Microscopic colitis should be considered in differential diagnosis of middle aged and elderly women with chronic diarrhea. Although there is no general consensus about the localization and number of intestinal biopsies, a large number of biopsies should be collected, even from the colon mucosa with normal macroscopic appearance in these patients.

Key words: Chronic diarrhea;microscopic colitis;gastroenteritis

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American Journal of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology


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