How Many Biopsies Are Sufficient for Diagnosis of Microscopic Colitis?

Briefly noted: Microscopic colitis is much more frequent in adults than in children; nevertheless, it is often important to exclude. A recent study (B Virine et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 2003-2009. Full text: Biopsies From Ascending and Descending Colon Are Sufficient for Diagnosis of Microscopic Colitis) indicates that biopsies can be limited to the ascending and descending colon.

Methods: This was a retrospective study using biopsies from 101 consecutive patients with MC (52 cases of collagenous colitis, 42 cases of lymphocytic colitis, 7 combined cases),

Key finding:

  • In this study, microscopic colitis was detected with 100% sensitivity by analyzing biopsy specimens from the ascending and descending colon

My take: The authors note that previous guidelines have suggested taking 8 biopsy specimens.  Their findings support taking much fewer biopsies.

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