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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 26 (2012), Issue 9, Pages 627-630
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/986535
Review

Long-Term Natural History and Complications of Collagenous Colitis

Hugh J Freeman

Department of Medicine (Gastreonterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 29 January 2012; Accepted 1 February 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Microscopic forms of colitis have been described, including collagenous colitis, a possibly heterogeneous disorder. Collagenous colitis most often appears to have an entirely benign clinical course that usually responds to limited treatment. Sometimes significant extracolonic disorders, especially arthritis, spondylitis, thyroiditis and skin disorders, such as pyoderma gangrenosum, dominate the clinical course and influence the treatment strategy. However, rare fatalities have been reported and several complications, some severe, have been attributed directly to the colitis. Toxic colitis and toxic megacolon may develop. Concomitant gastric and small intestinal inflammatory disorders have been described including celiac disease and more extensive collagenous inflammatory disease. Colonic ulceration has been associated with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, while other forms of inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, may evolve directly from collagenous colitis. Submucosal ‘dissection’, colonic fractures, or mucosal tears and perforation, possibly from air insufflation during colonoscopy, have been reported. Similar changes may result from increased intraluminal pressures that may occur during radiological imaging of the colon. Neoplastic disorders of the colon may also occur during the course of collagenous colitis, including colon carcinoma and neuroendocrine tumours (ie, carcinoids). Finally, lymphoproliferative disease has been reported.