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Microscopic colitis impacts quality of life in older people
  1. Olayinka Ayodele Ogundipe and
  2. Amy Campbell
  1. Department of Medicine of the Elderly, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Campbell, amy.campbell10{at}


This report describes a frail 92-year-old woman with dementia who presented with a year’s history of chronic watery non-bloody diarrhoea. She had abdominal bloating, weight loss, faecal urgency, nocturnal stools and developed faecal incontinence. Her serum C reactive peptide and faecal calprotectin were elevated. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was macroscopically normal, but demonstrated histological features of microscopic colitis (MC) in sigmoid colon and rectal biopsies. Polypharmacy was reviewed for possible medication-induced MC. Ranitidine, donepezil and simvastatin were discontinued. She was started on oral budesonide with improvement in the abdominal and bowel symptoms. Stool frequency and consistency normalised, and the faecal incontinence resolved with treatment. The outcomes were an improved quality of life, reduced functional dependency, reduced carer strain and avoidance of premature transition from her home into a long-term/institutional care setting. We briefly review terminology, basic epidemiology, notable associations, the importance of establishing a diagnosis and some treatment considerations for MC.

  • long term care
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • geriatric medicine
  • continence
  • drugs: gastrointestinal system

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  • Contributors OAO conceived the idea and design of the article. OAO took the lead role in preparation and review of the report. AC contributed to the review and editing of the manuscript. Both authors approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.