Benign fibroblastic polyps of the colon: a histologic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural study

Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Mar;28(3):374-8. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200403000-00010.


Mesenchymal proliferations presenting as mucosal polyps are relatively uncommon and are represented by gastrointestinal stromal tumors, smooth muscle and neural tumors, and inflammatory fibroid polyps. In this report, we describe the clinicopathologic features of a distinctive type of mucosal polyp composed of cytologically bland spindled cells with fibroblastic features. Fourteen cases with histologic features of"fibroblastic polyps" were identified from our case files from January 2000 to December 2003. The clinical and endoscopic findings were reviewed. Immunohistochemistry using a panel of antibodies (vimentin, smooth muscle actin, desmin, CD31, CD34, Bcl-2, c-Kit, S-100, and epithelial membrane antigen) was performed in all cases, and electron microscopy was performed in two cases. The lesions were solitary in all cases and not associated with an identifiable polyposis syndrome. Associated adenomata and/or hyperplastic polyps at different sites were present in 10 cases and hyperplastic polyps were seen in close association in 3 cases. These polyps were characterized by a monomorphic spindle cell proliferation in the lamina propria, without necrosis or mitotic activity. The lesions were intimately associated with the muscularis mucosae and resulted in wide separation and disorganization of the colonic crypts. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed strong and diffuse positivity for vimentin only. Weak and focal reactivity was noted in 2 cases for CD34 and smooth muscle actin, while staining for other antibodies was negative. Electron microscopy revealed sparse cytoplasmic organelles and many intermediate filaments. The histology and ultrastructural and immunohistochemical findings are suggestive of fibroblastic differentiation of these spindle cells. In summary, these lesions represent a distinctive type of colonic mucosal polyp that should be distinguished from other stromal polyps of the gastrointestinal tract.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Colonic Polyps / metabolism
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organelles / ultrastructure


  • Actins
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Biomarkers