Abnormal findings on abdominopelvic cross-sectional imaging in patients with microscopic colitis: a retrospective, multicenter study

Andree H. Koop, Ahmed Salih, Mohamed Omer, Josh Kwon, Hassan M. Ghoz, Matthew McCann, June Tome, William C. Palmer, Darrell S. Pardi, Fernando F. Stancampiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Patients with microscopic colitis may have subtle macroscopic findings on colonoscopy such as erythema, edema, or altered vascular pattern; however, radiographic abnormalities on cross-sectional imaging have not been investigated. We aimed at identifying the abdominopelvic radiographic abnormalities in patients with microscopic colitis, as well as possible correlation with endoscopic findings and the need for extended duration of treatment. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients with biopsy-proven microscopic colitis at two tertiary centers between 1 January 2010 and 30 April 2020. Patients underwent computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging within 30 days of a diagnostic flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Patients with colon ischemia and other causes of colitis were excluded. Radiographic abnormalities from imaging reports included bowel wall thickening, mucosal hyperenhancement and mesenteric fat stranding. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of radiographic abnormalities. Results: 498 patients with microscopic colitis underwent abdominopelvic cross-sectional imaging within 30 days of flexible sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy. Lymphocytic colitis was diagnosed in 54.6% of patients, and collagenous colitis in 45.4%. Endoscopic and radiographic abnormalities were identified in 16.1% and 12.4% of patients, respectively. Radiographic abnormalities were associated with the need for budesonide therapy (p =.029) and budesonide therapy long-term (p =.0028). Budesonide therapy long-term (p =.047) was associated with radiographic abnormalities in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Radiographic abnormalities may be present on abdominopelvic cross-sectional imaging in a minority of patients with biopsy-proven microscopic colitis, suggesting cross-sectional imaging has low clinical value in the evaluation and treatment of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-304
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • collagenous colitis
  • colonoscopy
  • diagnostic imaging
  • endoscopy
  • lymphocytic colitis
  • microscopic colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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