OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the outcomes of corticosteroid-treated microscopic colitis (MC) in a population-based cohort, and to compare these outcomes in patients treated with prednisone or budesonide.METHODS:A historical cohort study of Olmsted County, Minnesota residents diagnosed with collagenous or lymphocytic colitis (LC) between 1986 and 2010 was performed using the Rochester Epidemiology Project.RESULTS:Of 315 patients with MC, 80 (25.4%) were treated with corticosteroids. The median age at colitis diagnosis was 66.5 years (range: 16-95) and 78.7% were female. Forty patients (50%) had LC and 40 (50%) had collagenous colitis. Prednisone was used in 17 patients (21.2%) and budesonide in 63 (78.8%); 56 (75.6%) had complete response and 15 (20.3%) had partial response. Patients treated with budesonide had a higher rate of complete response than those treated with prednisone (82.5 vs. 52.9%; odds ratio, 4.18; 95% CI, 1.3-13.5). Six patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 74 had a median follow-up of 4 years (range 0.2-14). Fifty patients out of the 71 who responded (70.4%) had a recurrence after corticosteroid discontinuation. Patients treated with budesonide were less likely to recur than those treated with prednisone (hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.18-0.85; P=0.02). After 397 person years of follow-up in the 73 patients with long-term data, 47 (64.4%) required maintenance with corticosteroids.CONCLUSION:Patients with MC often respond to corticosteroid therapy, but with a high relapse rate. Budesonide had a higher response rate and a lower risk of recurrence than prednisone.
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