Serrated polyps of the colorectum: is sessile serrated adenoma distinguishable from hyperplastic polyp in a daily practice?

Virchows Arch. 2007 Jun;450(6):613-8. doi: 10.1007/s00428-007-0413-8. Epub 2007 Apr 21.


The distinction between serrated polyps of the colon is complex, particularly between hyperplastic polyps (HP) and sessile serrated adenomas (SSA). Recent data show that SSA might be the precursors of serrated colonic cancers, underlining the necessity of identifying them. We characterized the demographic and pathologic characteristics of 102 serrated lesions among 321 polyps of the colorectum and determined if SSA can be microscopically distinguished from HP in biopsy material of a daily practice. There were 81 HP (79%) and 7 SSA (7%) of which one displayed low-grade dysplasia. Only six serrated polyps (6%) could not be correctly classified. The main architectural criteria for distinguishing SSA from HP is the serrated feature along the crypt axis and the rarity of undifferentiated cells in the lower third of the crypts. SSA was significantly more often located in the right colon and larger (median, 11 vs 4 mm) than HP. SSA are rare serrated polyps that can be distinguished from HP based on their morphology, location in the right colon, and larger size. One SSA of our series showed low-grade dysplasia supporting the concept that this lesion might be a precursor of serrated adenocarcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Intestinal Polyps / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rectal Diseases / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies