Extra-intestinal manifestations of familial adenomatous polyposis

Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Sep;15(9):2439-50. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-9981-3. Epub 2008 Jul 9.


Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder, which results from a germ line mutation in the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene. FAP is characterized by the formation of hundreds to thousands of colorectal adenomatous polyps. Although the development of colorectal cancer stands out as the most prevalent complication, FAP is a multisystem disorder of growth. This means, it is comparable to other diseases such as the MEN syndromes, Von Hippel-Lindau disease and neurofibromatosis. However, the incidence of many of its clinical features is much lower. Therefore, a specialized multidisciplinary approach to optimize health care-common for other disorders-is not usually taken for FAP patients. Thus, clinicians that care for and counsel members of high-risk families should have familiarity with all the extra-intestinal manifestations of this syndrome. FAP-related complications, for which medical attention is essential, are not rare and their estimated lifetime risk presumably exceeds 30%. Affected individuals can develop thyroid and pancreatic cancer, hepatoblastomas, CNS tumors (especially medulloblastomas), and various benign tumors such as adrenal adenomas, osteomas, desmoid tumors and dental abnormalities. Due to improved longevity, as a result of better prevention of colorectal cancer, the risk of these clinical problems will further increase. We present a clinical overview of extra-intestinal manifestations, including management and treatment options for the FAP syndrome. Furthermore, we provide recommendations for surveillance of FAP complications based on available literature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / diagnosis*
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / genetics
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein