Decreased colorectal cancer and adenoma risk in patients with microscopic colitis

Eugene F. Yen*, Bhupesh Pokhrel, Laura K. Bianchi, Hemant K. Roy, Hongyan Du, Amir Patel, Curtis R. Hall, Benjamin L. Witt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction: Microscopic colitis is currently considered to harbor no increased risk for colorectal cancer, based on a few small studies with limited long-term follow-up. Our aim was to identify patients with microscopic colitis, and to compare long-term rates of colorectal cancer or adenoma to a control group of patients without microscopic colitis. Methods: We reviewed the records of patients diagnosed with microscopic colitis, as identified by a hospital-based pathology database from January 2000 to August 2008. Clinical factors, including history of adenoma or adenocarcinoma, and all colonoscopy findings, were recorded. Age and gender-matched patients without microscopic colitis served as the control in a 1:1 fashion. Results: A total of 647 patients (153 male: 494 female) were identified with microscopic colitis (MC). Any history of colorectal cancer was detected in 1.92, 1.81, and 4.17% of patients with collagenous colitis (CC), lymphocytic colitis (LC), and controls, respectively (P = 0.095, P = 0.040, P = 0.015 for CC, LC, and all MC, respectively, comparing to controls). Overall, covariate-adjusted risk (odds ratio) of any history of colorectal cancer and colorectal adenoma in MC patients was 0.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16-0.73, P = 0.006) and 0.52 (95% CI 0.50-0.76, P < 0.0001), respectively. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.63 years, with 147/647 (22.7%) of patients with clinical follow-up >7 years. Conclusions: In this case-control study involving a large retrospective cohort, microscopic colitis is negatively associated with the risk for colorectal cancer and adenoma. Further studies are required to determine a temporal relationship between microscopic colitis and the future development of colorectal neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Collagenous colitis
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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