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Ulcerative Colitis

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, are chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. They are diagnosed by a set of clinical, endoscopic, and histologic characteristics.

In ulcerative colitis, inflammation begins in the rectum, extends proximally a certain distance, and then abruptly stops, with a clear demarcation between involved and uninvolved mucosa. In mild disease, there are superficial erosions, whereas in more severe disease, ulcers may be large but superficial, penetrating the muscularis mucosa only in very severe disease.

Mild: Fewer than four bowel movements per day with little or no blood, no fever, and sedimentation rate less than 20 mm/hr.

Moderate: Between mild and severe.

Severe: Six or more bowel movements per day with blood, fever, anemia, and sedimentation rate greater than 30 mm/hr.

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