Microscopic colitis is diagnosed on the basis of histologic criteria, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is diagnosed by symptom-based criteria.
There has been little investigation into the symptomatic overlap between these conditions.
Dr Darrell Pardi and colleagues from Minnesota assessed the prevalence of symptoms of IBS in a population-based cohort of patients with microscopic colitis.
The team obtained data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP), a medical records linkage system.
This database provides all health care data for the defined population of Minnesota.
|56% met Rome II criteria for IBS|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The research team identified all county residents with a diagnosis of microscopic colitis between 1985 and 2001.
The medical records of these individuals were reviewed to ascertain symptoms consistent with Rome, Rome II, and Manning criteria for IBS.
The researchers identified 131 cases of microscopic colitis.
Median age at diagnosis was 68 years, and 71% were women.
The research team found that 53% and 56% met Rome and Rome II criteria for IBS, respectively.
The team noted that 41% had 3 or more Manning criteria.
The researchers observed that 33% had previously been diagnosed with IBS.
Dr Pardi's team concludes, “In this population-based cohort of histologically confirmed microscopic colitis, approximately half met symptom-based criteria for the diagnosis of IBS.”
“The clinical symptom-based criteria for IBS are not specific enough to rule out the diagnosis of microscopic colitis.”
“Patients with suspected diarrhea-predominant IBS should undergo biopsies of the colon.”
“This is to investigate for possible microscopic colitis if symptoms are not well controlled by antidiarrheal therapy.”