Colon non tumor
Colitis (non-infectious)

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 21 December 2016, last major update May 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: active colitis[title]
Cite this page: Active colitis. website. Accessed March 20th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Focal active colitis: patchy architectural changes and inflammation; suggestive of Crohn colitis or acute self limited/infectious colitis; may also include some cases of treated ulcerative colitis, ischemia, NSAID related colitis and bowel preparation changes; does NOT encompass chronic colitis with only focal acute inflammation (Hum Pathol 1997;28:729)
  • Diffuse active colitis: somewhat specific for active phase of ulcerative colitis, although also present in some cases of Crohn colitis, infectious colitis and diverticular disease
Clinical features
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Neutrophils in lamina propria, within epithelial cells (cryptitis) or within crypt lumina (crypt abscess)
  • Inflammation, edema and hemorrhage of lamina propria
  • Variable necrosis and microthrombi; often acute inflammation is more marked than associated chronic inflammation
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Active colitis