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March 1973

Colitis Cystica Profunda: Localized, Segmental, and Diffuse

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Boston Veterans Administration Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(3):337-341. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350150071019

Colitis cystica profunda is a benign disease in which mucus-filled cysts are found beneath the submucosa of the colon. It usually is localized in the rectum, causes minimal symptoms, and is cured by local excision. A young man was debilitated by chronic mucus diarrhea and had diffuse cystic involvement of the distal colon. His symptoms were relieved by an end sigmoid colostomy, and he regained good health. The cause of this condition is apparently inflammatory in nature and seems to be reversible, as demonstrated by this patient.

The successful management of the case reported, together with accumulated evidence, strongly suggests that radical excisional surgery for colitis cystica profunda is rarely necessary to effect relief of symptoms.