Form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the rectum and extends proximally. Characterized by diffuse inflammation of the colonic mucosa and a relapsing, remitting course.
Patients commonly experience bloody diarrhea, chronic diarrhea (or both), lower abdominal pain, fecal urgency, and extraintestinal manifestations, particularly those related to activity of the colitis.
Diagnosis requires endoscopy with biopsy and negative stool culture.
Relapses are often associated with pathogens; therefore, stool should be obtained for culture in all cases of disease flare-up.
Treatment aims to induce and maintain remission. Drug choice and formulation depends on the severity and extent of disease.
Toxic megacolon can occur with associated risk of perforation. Bowel adenocarcinoma is a complication in 3% to 5% of patients.