Lymphocytic colitis is characterized by chronic diarrhea and specific microscopic changes in the colonic mucosa.
In this study, a team of researchers from Sweden assess the clinical features and treatment outcome in a large patient cohort.
The team searched for patients in 24 Swedish gastroenterology clinics.
They then reassessed biopsy material using strict histopathological criteria.
They obtained the patients' clinical data from medical notes.
|Drug-induced disease was suspected in 10% of patients.|
The researchers diagnosed lymphocytic colitis in 199 patients.
They found that lymphocytic colitis occurred in more women than men. The patients' median age at diagnosis was 59 years.
The most frequent symptoms were diarrhea (96%), abdominal pain (47%), and weight loss (41%).
The researchers found that the disease course was chronic intermittent in 30%, chronic continuous in 7%, and a single attack in 63% of patients.
They found that disease duration was an average of 6 months.
In addition, 40% of patients reported associated diseases. Of these, thyroid disorders, celiac disease, and diabetes mellitus were the most common.
Furthermore, 12% of patients reported a family history of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, collagenous colitis, or celiac disease.
The research team suspected drug-induced disease in 10% of patients.
More than 80% of treated patients improved on corticosteroids, including budesonide.
Dr Olesen's team concluded, "A family history of other bowel disorders is a new finding".
"The sudden onset and single attack of limited duration may support a possible infectious cause in some cases".
"Drugs may cause lymphocytic colitis".