Clinical features and treatment responses in pediatric lymphocytic and collagenous colitis

Nirmala P. Narla, Thomas C. Smyrk, Darrell S. Pardi, Jeanne Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: Microscopic colitis (MC) is prevalent in adults investigated for chronic watery diarrhea, yet characterization of pediatric MC is limited. METHODS:: Our pathology database was searched from 1995 to 2011 for pediatric cases of lymphocytic colitis (LC) or collagenous colitis (CC). Those with diarrhea persisting for >2 weeks and visually normal colonoscopy were accepted as cases. Demographics, laboratory results, medication use within 3 months of presentation, medical and family history of autoimmune disease, and response to treatment were abstracted. RESULTS:: A total of 27 cases were histologically consistent with MC on biopsy; 5 with concomitant enteric infection or isolated abdominal pain were excluded. Twenty-two cases of MC (female patients, 59%; median age at diagnosis, 15.3 years) were included (19 LC and 3 CC). Two had type 1 diabetes mellitus, 2 were anti-nuclear antibody positive, and 2 had common variable immunodeficiency. Of 20 patients who underwent an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, 1 had collagenous sprue and 4 had celiac disease. One presented after the clearance of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Previous drug exposures included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n=7), proton pump inhibitors (n=6), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (n=3). Common symptoms in addition to diarrhea included abdominal pain (77.3%) and weight loss (27.3%). Of 17 patients with follow-up, all of the 8 treated with steroids had some response: 57.1% (4/7) responded to mesalamine and 42.9% (3/7) responded to bismuth subsalicylate. CONCLUSIONS:: In this cohort of pediatric patients, LC was much more common than CC. As described in adults, we observed associations with celiac disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and medications; we additionally saw an association with immunodeficiency. Our patients showed greater response to steroids than mesalamine or bismuth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-561
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • chronic diarrhea
  • collagenous colitis
  • lymphocytic colitis
  • microscopic colitis
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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