Colon nontumor
Colitis (noninfectious)

Topic Completed: 1 May 2013

Revised: 8 January 2019, last major update May 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: active colitis[title]

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
Page views in 2018: 7,198
Page views in 2019 to date: 6,453
Cite this page: Gulwani H. Active colitis. website. Accessed October 16th, 2019.
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


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