Low prevalence of colorectal neoplasia in microscopic colitis: A large prospective multi-center study.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Microscopic colitis (MC) is the most frequent condition in subjects undergoing ileocolonoscopy for chronic non-bloody diarrhea (CNBD) in Western countries. Emerging evidence has shown a negative association between MC and colorectal cancer. Within this prospective multi-center study we have evaluated the risk of colorectal neoplasia in MC and non-MC patients with CNBD receiving ileocolonoscopy with high-definition plus virtual chromoendoscopic imaging and histopathological assessment. METHODS Patients with CNBD of unknown origin were prospectively enrolled in 5 referral centers in Northern Italy for ileocolonoscopy with high-definition and digital/optical chromoendoscopy plus multiple biopsies in each segment. The prevalence of colorectal neoplasia (cancer, adenoma, serrated lesion) in MC was compared to that observed in a control group including CNBD patients negative for MC, inflammatory bowel disease or eosinophilic colitis. RESULTS From 2014 and 2017, 546 consecutive CNBD patients were recruited. Among the 492 patients (mean age 53±18 years) fulfilling the inclusion criteria against the exclusion critieria, MC was the predominant diagnosis at histopathological assessment (8.7%: N=43, 28 CC, 15 LC). The regression model adjusted for age and gender showed a significant negative association between the diagnosis of CM and colorectal neoplasia (OR=0.39; 95% CI 0.22-0.67, p <0.001) with a 60% decreased risk of adenomatous and neoplastic serrated polyps as compared to the control group (n=412). CONCLUSION This multi-center study confirms MC as a low-risk condition for colorectal neoplasia. No surveillance colonoscopy program is to be performed for MC diagnosis.