Microscopic colitis (MC) is a relatively common cause of chronic watery diarrhea, especially in older persons. Associated symptoms, including abdominal pain and arthralgias, are common. The diagnosis is based upon characteristic histological findings in the presence of diarrhea. The two types of MC, collagenous and lymphocytic colitis, share similar clinical features, with the main difference being the presence or absence of a thickened subepithelial collagen band. There are several treatment options for patients with MC, although only budesonide has been well studied in multiple controlled clinical trials. This review will describe the clinical features, epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of patients with MC.
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