Genetic alterations in serrated adenomas: comparison to conventional adenomas and hyperplastic polyps

Hum Pathol. 2002 Jan;33(1):87-91. doi: 10.1053/hupa.2002.30377.


Serrated adenoma is a recently described entity characterized by the presence of a hyperplastic (serrated) growth pattern combined with cytologic features of dysplasia. In contrast to conventional (nonserrated) adenomas, the molecular features of serrated adenomas have been poorly studied. Thus, it remains unclear if serrated adenomas are simply a morphologic variant of conventional adenomas or represent a different biologic entity. In this study, 46 serrated adenomas from 39 patients, 32 conventional (nonserrated) adenomas from 31 patients, and 18 hyperplastic polyps from 16 patients were evaluated for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of APC, p53, p16, and 3p and for K-ras mutations of codons 12, 13, and 61 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Serrated adenomas demonstrated LOH of at least one genetic locus in 32.6% of cases. LOH of the APC gene, 3p, p53, and p16 was seen in 19.4%, 14.2%, 9.3%, and 13.8% of cases, respectively. K-ras mutations were observed in 18% of cases. Similar to serrated adenomas, conventional adenomas demonstrated at least one LOH event in 37.5% of cases and K-ras mutations in another 19% of cases. LOH of APC, 3p, p53, and p16 was observed in 22%, 33%, 5.8%, and 13.4% of cases, respectively. There were no significant differences in either the total number of genetic events or the presence of LOH of any of the individual markers between serrated adenomas and conventional adenomas. However, hyperplastic polyps showed LOH in 22% of cases and a single K-ras mutation (11%). The prevalence of LOH in hyperplastic polyps was lower than both serrated adenomas and conventional adenomas (P < .05). These results support the hypothesis that serrated adenomas represent a biologically similar morphologic variant of conventional adenomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Polyps / genetics*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Dissection
  • Female
  • Genes, APC
  • Genes, p16
  • Genes, p53
  • Genes, ras
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / genetics
  • Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Male
  • Micromanipulation
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Markers