October 31, 2011
Mayo Clinic Develops New Way To Rate Severity Of Colitis, A Common Cause Of Diarrhea
Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a new way to assess a common cause of chronic diarrhea, microscopic colitis, using the Microscopic Colitis Disease Activity Index. A study describing the index was released today during the American College of Gastroenterology 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course in Washington. The index provides a consistent way to assess the condition's severity.
"Until now, physicians have not had a way to objectively and consistently score the severity of a patient's disease beyond simply counting the number of bowel movements per day," says author Darrell Pardi, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. The assessment also accounts for symptoms other than diarrhea, such as abdominal pain, urgency, and incontinence.
Microscopic colitis is recognized as a common cause of chronic diarrhea, causing perhaps 30 percent of all cases of the condition in older patients. Microscopic colitis is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the large intestine (colon) that causes watery diarrhea and, sometimes, abdominal pain. The disorder gets its name from the microscopic examination of tissue required to identify it.
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