Objective: Microscopic colitis (MC) is prevalent in adults investigated for chronic watery diarrhea, yet characterization of pediatric MC is limited.
Methods: Our pathology database was searched from 1995 to 2011 for pediatric cases of lymphocytic colitis (LC) or collagenous colitis (CC). Those with diarrhea persisting for >2 weeks and visually normal colonoscopy were accepted as cases. Demographics, laboratory results, medication use within 3 months of presentation, medical and family history of autoimmune disease, and response to treatment were abstracted.
Results: A total of 27 cases were histologically consistent with MC on biopsy; 5 with concomitant enteric infection or isolated abdominal pain were excluded. Twenty-two cases of MC (female patients, 59%; median age at diagnosis, 15.3 years) were included (19 LC and 3 CC). Two had type 1 diabetes mellitus, 2 were anti-nuclear antibody positive, and 2 had common variable immunodeficiency. Of 20 patients who underwent an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, 1 had collagenous sprue and 4 had celiac disease. One presented after the clearance of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Previous drug exposures included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n = 7), proton pump inhibitors (n = 6), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (n = 3). Common symptoms in addition to diarrhea included abdominal pain (77.3%) and weight loss (27.3%). Of 17 patients with follow-up, all of the 8 treated with steroids had some response: 57.1% (4/7) responded to mesalamine and 42.9% (3/7) responded to bismuth subsalicylate.
Conclusions: In this cohort of pediatric patients, LC was much more common than CC. As described in adults, we observed associations with celiac disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and medications; we additionally saw an association with immunodeficiency. Our patients showed greater response to steroids than mesalamine or bismuth.