Non-specific Colitis: An Endoscopist-Pathologist Miscommunication

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Mohamed Emara, Eman M. Saied, Mohammed Hussien Ahmed, Yasmin A. Elshaer


Pathologists commonly report non-specific colitis (NSC) in the pathology reports of colon biopsies when they fail to characterize features of the colonic inflammation and diagnose the disease based on specific forms of colitis. Several conditions, ranging from irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, celiac disease, to other systemic diseases have been proposed to be associated with the reporting of NSC in the colon pathology reports. Specifically, NSC could be a preceding pathological condition associated with these diseases before their symptoms and signs become more apparent. Based on a few studies, NSC may not be a particular disease, but rather a transient presentation of inflammatory bowel disease. This gist of this mini-review article is the failure of sharing demographic, clinical, laboratory, and endoscopic data between endoscopist and pathologist are the most important underlying cause of failed characterization of colitis by pathologists. Therefore, enhancement of endoscopist-pathologist communication would reduce the incidence of this misnomer and indirectly improve the diagnosis that helps with more accurate treatment.


Nonspecific colitis; inflammatory bowel disease; colonoscopy

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