Microscopic colitis, comprising collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis, is a common cause of chronic diarrhea.
The long-term prognosis is not well described.
Dr Nyhlin and colleagues from Sweden studied outcome of symptoms and health-related quality of life.
A case–control study using a postal questionnaire with 3 population-based controls per patient matched for age, sex and municipality.
The research team assessed health-related quality of life by the Short Health Scale.
Patients in clinical remission, defined as a mean of less than 3 stools per day, were evaluated separately.
The study included 212 patients, and 627 matched controls.
|All 4 health-related quality of life dimensions were impaired in patients|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team found that median disease duration was 5.9 years and 6.4 years for collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis, respectively.
The researchers noted that abdominal pain, fatigue, arthralgia, myalgia, fecal incontinence and nocturnal defecation were significantly more prevalent in collagenous colitis patients compared with controls.
These differences persisted in collagenous colitis patients in clinical remission with respect to abdominal pain, fatigue, arthralgia, and myalgia.
The team observed that in lymphocytic colitis patients, abdominal pain, fatigue, fecal incontinence and nocturnal defecation were more prevalent compared with controls.
In lymphocytic colitis patients in clinical remission, fatigue was more prevalent compared with controls.
The team found that all 4 health-related quality of life dimensions were impaired in patients with active collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.
Dr Nyhlin's team concludes, "Although considered to be in clinical remission, patients with microscopic colitis suffer from persisting symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, arthralgia or myalgia several years after diagnosis."