Morphologically, colorectal adenomas can be divided into two groups, protruded-type and flat-type. However, the accurate frequencies of genetic and epigenetic alterations in flat-type colorectal advanced adenomas (laterally spreading tumors) have remained largely unknown. In the current study, we investigated genetic and epigenetic alterations in 101 flat-type colorectal advanced adenomas and 68 protruded-type colorectal advanced adenomas by using direct DNA sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR (MethyLight), respectively. KRAS mutation was detected in a significantly higher percentage of flat-type adenomas (35%) than in protruded-type adenomas (13%). When the samples were limited to the tumors in the distal colon, the difference of KRAS mutation was still significant. KRAS mutation in G-to-A transitions at codons 12 and 13 was detected in a significantly higher percentage of flat-type adenomas (26%) than in protruded-type adenomas (9%). BRAF and beta-catenin mutations were detected in 3 and 8% of the 101 flat-type adenomas, respectively. No significant difference was found between frequencies of those mutations in flat-type adenomas and protruded-type adenomas. Methylations of MGMT, CDKN2A (p16) and MLH1 were detected in 28, 33 and 9% of the 101 flat-type adenomas, respectively. CDKN2A methylation was detected in a significantly lower percentage of flat-type adenomas than in protruded-type adenomas (63%). Methylation of at least one gene was detected in a significantly lower percentage of flat-type adenomas (54%) than in protruded-type adenomas (78%). In conclusion, KRAS mutation was frequently detected in flat-type advanced adenomas and the mutational patterns in most of them with KRAS mutations were a transition from G-to-A. Therefore, these genetic alterations seem to play an important role in the development of flat-type advanced adenomas, especially in the distal colon. Epigenetic alterations infrequently occurred in flat-type advanced adenomas, suggesting that they have different genetic and epigenetic alterations from those of protruded-type advanced adenomas.