Microscopic colitis: lymphocytic colitis, collagenous colitis, and beyond

Lin Yuan, Tsung Teh Wu, Lizhi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Microscopic colitis (MC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of colon with clinical presentations of chronic, watery, nonbloody diarrhea, and normal or almost normal endoscopic findings. Confirmation of a diagnosis of MC requires microscopic examination on colon biopsy to identify characteristic morphological features, in which 2 main subtypes of MC, lymphocytic colitis (LC) and collagenous colitis (CC), have been described. Although the pathogenesis of MC is still unclear, studies have revealed associations of MC with many risk factors and other diseases such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and medication use. Meanwhile, variants of MC, MC incomplete, or MC-like changes in other conditions are still diagnostic dilemmas for pathologists. The goal of this paper is to systemically introduce the clinicopathologic features of MC and focus on unusual features of MC and its associations with other conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Pathology
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Collagenous colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis incomplete
  • Pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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