Published online Oct 7, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i37.4157
Revised: May 20, 2011
Accepted: May 27, 2011
Published online: October 7, 2011
Microscopic colitis (MC) is considered an “umbrella term”, comprising two subtypes, i.e., collagenous colitis (CC) and lymphocytic colitis (LC). They are classically associated with normal or unremarkable colonoscopy. In the last few years, reports have been published revealing findings that are thought to be characteristic or pathognomonic of MC, especially CC. A systematic electronic and manual search of PubMed and EMBASE (to December 2010), for publications on distinct endoscopic findings in MC, resulted in 42 relevant reports for inclusion in this review. Eighty eight patients with collagenous colitis were presented. Only one publication describing a distinct endoscopic pattern in LC was found. Typical findings in CC are alteration of the vascular mucosal pattern, mucosal nodularity, a sequence of change from mucosal defects to mucosal cicatricial lesions, and perhaps (although of doubtful relevance) mucosal pseudomembranes. A causal connection of mucosal defects with the use of lansoprazole seems to exist. Adoption of the proposed lesion description herein is recommended in order to improve homogeneity of future reports.