How do the characteristics of inflammation vary between ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

In ulcerative colitis, the inflammation begins in the rectum and extends proximally in an uninterrupted fashion to the proximal colon and could eventually involve the entire length of the large intestine. The rectum is always involved in ulcerative colitis; and unlike in Crohn disease, there are no "skip areas" (ie, normal areas of the bowel interspersed with diseased areas), unless pretreated with topical rectal therapy (ie, a steroid or 5-aminosalicylic acid [5-ASA] enema).


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