Topographical distribution of microscopic colitis and the importance of orientation of paraffin-embedded biopsies

Anne-Marie Kanstrup Fiehn, Peter Johan Heiberg Engel, Francesco Lanzarotto, Danny Goudkade, Stefania Landolfi, Lars Kristian Munck, Vincenzo Villanacci

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


The diagnosis of microscopic colitis (MC) relies on specific histopathological findings in colon biopsies. The number of biopsies needed to diagnose MC remains disputed. The aim of the study was to determine the number and site of biopsies necessary for the diagnosis and the effect of perpendicular orientation when embedding the biopsies. This retrospective multicenter European study included 42 patients with a consensus diagnosis of collagenous colitis (CC), 51 patients with lymphocytic colitis (LC), and three patients with incomplete LC (LCi). The number of individual diagnostic biopsies from each patient was determined. The diagnostic rate of 744 individual biopsies from 96 patients with MC was 69.5% for the specific MC subgroup, 79.4% for MC and 93.4% for MC plus incomplete MC (MCi). The risk of missing a diagnosis of the specific subgroup of MC when analyzing four biopsies was 0.87%, decreasing to 0.18% for MC and 0.0019% for MC plus MCi. More biopsies from the right colon were diagnostic of the specific MC subgroup (76.3% vs. 64.0%, p = 0.0014). Perpendicular orientation of biopsies increased the diagnostic rate of the specific MC subgroup (73.1% vs. 65.0%, p = 0.0201). Histological changes diagnostic of MC were present in almost all biopsies from the right colon, with orientated biopsies more often being diagnostic of the specific MC subgroup. The results of this study indicate that four biopsies from the colon, rectum excluded, are sufficient to diagnose MC.

Sider (fra-til)63-71
Antal sider9
TidsskriftHuman Pathology
Tidlig onlinedato13 jul. 2020
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020

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