Microscopic colitis
Dr Suneil Raju

Dr Sunny Raju – Guts UK Trainee Award 2018

Institution: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Title: Review of current diagnostic procedure and management of patients with microscopic colitis: Are we getting it right?
Project Start Date:  3 December 2018
Completion Date: 2 December 2019


Chronic diarrhoea effects up to one in five of the UK population. One cause of this is microscopic colitis, which causes an inflammation of the large bowel resulting in diarrhoea, faecal incontinence and abdominal pain. This can be very debilitating and therefore early diagnosis is crucial to prevent these people from suffering.

To diagnose microscopic colitis, a small camera is inserted in the back passage to look at the large bowel. However, to the naked eye, it often looks normal and so the British Society of Gastroenterology recommends taking biopsies to look at, under the microscope. If biopsies are not taken, patients may be forced to live with these difficult symptoms when a treatment was available. Our study will review how often biopsies are taken, to see if patients are given the best chance of achieving the correct diagnosis. If they are not, we can then introduce measures like checklists to help remind healthcare professionals of the importance of biopsies.

Furthermore, patients who are diagnosed with microscopic colitis are currently treated with steroids, but the best long term treatment strategy is not clear. Therefore, we aim to review what treatments are currently given to find the best options available.

The funding by Guts UK will allow my work within the Sheffield group to better understand the journey of patients with microscopic colitis and thus help us find ways to improve the care we provide both locally and nationally to this under recognised group of patients.

Dr Sunny Raju