Hyperplastic polyposis: association with colorectal cancer

Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Feb;25(2):177-84. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200102000-00005.


Hyperplastic polyposis is a loosely defined syndrome initially thought not to confer a clinically important predisposition to colorectal cancer. The aim of the current study was to examine the clinical, histologic, and molecular features of a prospective series of cases meeting a strict definition of the condition. Twelve patients were identified, seven of whom had developed colorectal cancer. Most polyps were hyperplastic, but 11 patients also had polyps containing dysplasia as either serrated adenomas. mixed polyps, or traditional adenomas. The mean percentage of dysplastic polyps in patients with cancer was 35%, and in patients without cancer, 11% (p < 0.05). Microsatellite instability (MSI) was present in 3 of 47 hyperplastic polyps and two of eight serrated adenomas. Kras was mutated in 8 of 47 hyperplastic polyps and two of eight serrated adenomas. No polyps showed loss of heterozygosity of chromosomes 5q, 1p, or 18q. Two of seven cancers showed a high level of MSI. It is concluded that hyperplastic polyposis is associated with a high risk of colorectal cancer. Hyperplastic polyps are the dominant type of polyp, but most cases have some dysplastic epithelium. A higher proportion of dysplastic polyps is associated with increased cancer risk. Clonal genetic changes are observed in some hyperplastic polyps and serrated adenomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenoma / genetics
  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Genes, ras / genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Polyps / genetics
  • Polyps / pathology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Markers