Management of Portuguese patients with hyperplastic polyposis and screening of at-risk first-degree relatives: a contribution for future guidelines based on a clinical study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;99(9):1779-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2004.30178.x.


Background: Hyperplastic polyposis (HP) is a rare condition characterized by the presence of multiple hyperplastic polyps in the colon, which has been associated to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Guidelines for management of this disease remain, so far, undefined.

Aims: To evaluate, in symptomatic patients with HP, phenotypic characteristics as well as results of a screening program in their at-risk first-degree relatives.

Patients: Pedigree information and clinical and endoscopic data of 14 patients with HP was studied. SEVENTEEN AND METHODS: at-risk first-degree relatives from six families were also invited to perform screening colonoscopy.

Results: Twelve of fourteen (86%) patients had fewer than 100 colorectal polyps. Polyps' sizes ranged from 2 to 25 mm and were uniformly distributed through the whole colon in 43% of the patients. Hyperplastic polyps predominated, but 11/14 (79%) patients also harbored serrated as well as classic adenomatous polyps. CRC was present in 6/14 (43%) of the patients at the time of diagnosis. Familial history of CRC/polyps was positive in 6/12 (50%) of cases. Colonoscopy in at-risk relatives disclosed polyps in 10/17 (59%) of cases with at least one additional patient having criteria for HP.

Conclusions: Although small, this series demonstrates that a high level of suspicion is needed to diagnose the HP syndrome, in which serrated adenomas seem to be the hallmark. Although an elevated percentage of CRC was observed in this series of symptomatic patients with HP, prospective studies in asymptomatic individuals are needed to clearly quantify the risk of CRC in patients with HP. Because familial aggregation of HP was present in 3/12 (25%) of kindreds, screening colonoscopy should be offered to first-degree relatives.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / epidemiology
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / pathology*
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / therapy*
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology*
  • Genetic Testing / standards*
  • Genetic Testing / trends
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution