Objective: The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the frequency and intensity of eosinophilic infiltration (or tissue eosinophilia) in the stroma of colonic adenomas, hyperplastic polyps, and colorectal adenocarcinomas. Eosinophilic infiltration in various malignancies has been reported but has not been evaluated in benign colorectal adenomas and hyperplastic polyps.
Methods: We analyzed 488 colonic neoplasms: 176 tubular adenomas, 55 tubulovillous adenomas, 82 villous adenomas, 15 early carcinomas in polyps, 95 invasive adenocarcinomas, and 65 hyperplastic polyps for the presence of eosinophilic infiltration. The eosinophilic infiltration was graded as negative (< or =5%), mild to moderate (>5-40%), or marked (>40%), depending on the percentage of eosinophils relative to total inflammatory cells in the stroma.
Results: Mild to moderate eosinophilia was noted in 75% of all adenomas. The transitional zone in all cases of invasive adenocarcinoma (zone between normal tissue and adenocarcinoma) revealed a high percentage of tissue eosinophilia. There was a striking absence of TE in the stroma of invasive adenocarcinomas. Only 5% of hyperplastic polyps had any eosinophilic infiltration.
Conclusions: These data suggest that, in the spectrum of colonic neoplasms, stromal eosinophilia is most prominent in adenomas and seems to decrease with progression through the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. The ramifications of this study may alter management plans and provide some prognostic information for clinical evaluation.