Hyperplastic-like mucosal change in Crohn's disease: an unusual form of dysplasia?

Mod Pathol. 2000 Jul;13(7):797-801. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880138.


Patients with Crohn's disease are at increased risk of developing intestinal adenocarcinoma. Dysplasia is both a marker and a precursor of adenocarcinoma in this setting. In a review of our cases of Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma, we noted a peculiar hyperplastic-like mucosal change (HPC) in mucosa both adjacent to and distant from the adenocarcinoma in some cases. However, the significance of this change is unknown. We evaluated 30 cases of Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma and 30 age- and site-matched resection specimens with Crohn's disease without adenocarcinoma to determine the prevalence of this mucosal alteration in these groups. HPC was recognized by a diffuse expanse of flat mucosa with an architecture resembling that seen in colorectal hyperplastic polyps and composed of cells with cytologically bland basal nuclei and apical cytoplasmic mucin distention. The relationship of the HPC to the adenocarcinoma was noted in the Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma cases. An immunohistochemical stain for p53 (antibody DO7) was performed on all cases with HPC in both groups. HPC was identified in 10 of 30 (33%) cases of Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma compared with 3 of 30 (10%) cases in the control group (P = .03). In the 10 cases of Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma with HPC, this alteration was found adjacent to the adenocarcinoma in 3 cases, distant to the adenocarcinoma in 5 cases, and both adjacent to and distal from the adenocarcinoma in 2 cases. In two specimens, HPC was seen immediately adjacent to adenocarcinoma in the absence of adjacent dysplasia. p53 immunoreactivity was noted in HPC in 5 of 10 (50%) Crohn's-related adenocarcinomas. In contrast, p53 immunoreactivity was not seen in HPC in the three control cases with this mucosal alteration. In conclusion, HPC is found significantly more commonly in mucosa both adjacent to and distant from Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma when compared with age- and site-matched controls. In addition, p53 immunoreactivity is more commonly seen in HPC in cases of Crohn's-related adenocarcinoma compared with controls. These data suggest that this mucosal alteration may, in some cases, represent an unusual form of dysplasia in this setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / abnormalities
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53