Inflammatory fibroid polyps of the gastrointestinal tract: clinical, pathologic, and molecular characteristics

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2004 Mar;12(1):59-66. doi: 10.1097/00129039-200403000-00011.


Inflammatory fibroid polyp (IFP) of the gastrointestinal tract is an uncommon proliferative lesion. When sampled by biopsy, IFP can be mistaken for various lesions, from granulation tissue to high-grade sarcoma. We present an unusual case of IFP and review a large series of IFPs to characterize clinical, histologic, and molecular features of diagnostic value. A total of 42 IFPs were gathered from the pathology archives of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center over the past 22 years. Clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical features were collected. A random subset of IFPs (n = 12) underwent microdissection genotyping for a broad panel of tumor suppressor gene-associated mutations (loss of heterozygosity). IFPs occurred in both sexes (male, 17; female, 25) over a broad age range (29-85 years). IFPs varied in size from 0.2 to 8 cm. The stomach (n = 19) was the most common location, followed by large bowel (n = 13) and small bowel (n = 10). Most IFPs displayed typical morphologic features (eosinophils admixed with loose, mature fibrous tissue), and in 2 instances, sampled by biopsy, IFP was confused for sarcoma. All IFPs lacked c-kit staining. No mutations were identified in any IFPs examined. IFP is a clinically underrecognized entity with unique morphologic and immunohistochemical features. On biopsy alone, the differential diagnosis may include sarcoma and other malignancies. The absence of mutational change may help to exclude malignant lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intestinal Polyps / genetics*
  • Intestinal Polyps / immunology
  • Intestinal Polyps / pathology*
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged