How is microscopic colitis diagnosed?

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William Dierenfeldt, MD
Gastroenterology

Microscopic colitis can only be diagnosed through biopsies take at the time of a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. Most people with microscopic colitis have a normal looking colon but the inflammation is present microscopically-- hence the name "Microscopic Colitis". During a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, random biopsies are taken throughout the colon. When looked at under the microscope, if microscopic colitis is present, they will have the characteristic findings of chronic inflammation. Microscopic colitis is usually divided into "Lymphocytic colitis" and "Collagenous Colitis". 

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