|Classification and external resources|
|ICD-10||K50 - K52|
In a medical context, the label colitis (without qualification) is used if:
- The aetiology of the inflammation in the colon is undetermined; for example, colitis may be applied to Crohn's disease at a time when the diagnosis is unknown, or
- The context is clear; for example, an individual with ulcerative colitis is talking about their disease with a physician who knows the diagnosis.
Symptoms suggestive of colitis are worked-up by obtaining the medical history, a physical examination and laboratory tests (CBC, electrolytes, stool culture and sensitivity, stool ova and parasites etcetera). Additional tests may include medical imaging (e.g. abdominal computed tomography, abdominal X-rays) and an examination with a camera inserted into the rectum (sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy).
There are many types of colitis. They are usually classified by the etiology.
Types of colitis include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - a group of chronic colitides.
- Ulcerative colitis - a chronic colitis that affects the large intestine.
- Crohn's disease - a type of IBD often leads to a colitis.
- Microscopic colitis - a colitis is diagnosed by microscopic examination of colonic tissue; macroscopically it is normal appearing.
- Lymphocytic colitis.
- Collagenous colitis.
- Diversion colitis.
- Chemical colitis.
- Ischemic colitis.
- Infectious colitis.
A well-known subtype of infectious colitis is Clostridium difficile colitis,1 which is informally abbreviated as "c diff colitis". It classically forms pseudomembranes and is often referred to as pseudomembranous colitis, which is its (non-specific) histomorphologic description.
Enterohemorrhagic colitis may be caused by Shiga toxin in Shigella dysenteriae or Shigatoxigenic group of Escherichia coli (STEC), which includes serotype O157:H7 and other enterohemorrhagic E. coli.2
Parasitic infections, like those caused by Entamoeba histolytica, can also cause colitis.
Indeterminate colitis is a term used for a colitis that has features of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.3 Indeterminate colitis' behaviour is usually closer to ulcerative colitis than Crohn's disease.4
Atypical colitis is a phrase that is occasionally used by physicians for a colitis that does not conform to criteria for accepted types of colitis. It is not an accepted diagnosis per se and, as such, a colitis that cannot be definitively classified.
- "Clostridium Difficile Colitis - Overview". WebMD, LLC. Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- Beutin L (2006). "Emerging enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, causes and effects of the rise of a human pathogen". J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 53 (7): 299–305. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0450.2006.00968.x. PMID 16930272.
- Romano, C.; Famiani, A.; Gallizzi, R.; Comito, D.; Ferrau', V.; Rossi, P. (Dec 2008). "Indeterminate colitis: a distinctive clinical pattern of inflammatory bowel disease in children.". Pediatrics 122 (6): e1278–81. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2306. PMID 19047226.
- Melton, GB.; Kiran, RP.; Fazio, VW.; He, J.; Shen, B.; Goldblum, JR.; Achkar, JP.; Lavery, IC. et al. (Jul 2009). "Do preoperative factors predict subsequent diagnosis of Crohn's disease after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative or indeterminate colitis?". Colorectal Dis 12 (10): 1026–32. doi:10.1111/j.1463-1318.2009.02014.x. PMID 19624520.
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