Chronic non-bloody diarrhoea: A prospective study in Malmo, Sweden, with focus on microscopic colitis

Johanna K. Larsson, Klas Sjoberg, Lina Vigren, Cecilia Benoni, Ervin Toth, Martin Olesen

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic non-bloody diarrhoea affects up to 5% of the population. Microscopic colitis is one of the most common causes, encompassing the subtypes collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. The diagnosis of microscopic colitis is made by histological examination of colonic mucosal biopsy specimens. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether laboratory parameters or questions about disease history or concomitant disease could be helpful in discriminating patients with MC from those with a histologically normal colonic mucosa. Findings. Patients admitted for colonoscopy because of chronic non-bloody diarrhoea (>2 loose stools for >3 weeks) at endoscopy units in Malmo during 2007 and 2009, were enrolled. A total number of 78 patients were included (60 women, 18 men, median age 59, IQR 45-69 years). Out of these 78, 15 patients (19%) had microscopic colitis (CC; n = 10, LC; n = 5). MC was especially prevalent in patients above the age of 50 (25%). No differences were found between those with normal histology and MC in laboratory analyses (inflammatory and liver parameters). Neither were differences shown in questions regarding symptoms, environmental factors or concomitant diseases except for an association with celiac disease (p = 0.019) and a trend maybe indicating an inverse association with appendectomy (p = 0.057). Conclusions: Microscopic colitis is associated with female gender, celiac disease and consumption of NSAIDs. Trends were observed indicating that age above 50 years, acute onset and absence of appendectomy may be associated with MC. No associations were observed with other symptoms, calprotectin levels or liver parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2014


  • Collagenous colitis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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