Endoscopic mucosal resection for early colorectal neoplasia: pathologic basis, procedures, and outcomes

Dis Colon Rectum. 2009 Aug;52(8):1502-15. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181a74d9b.


Open access endoscopy and screening programs enable detection and removal of an increased number of colon polyps in the early stages of neoplastic transformation. Unfortunately, polyps larger than 3 cm, involving more than one-third of circumference or two haustral folds, or with a flat/depressed morphology are more challenging to remove with standard polypectomy techniques. Endoscopic mucosal resection potentiates the removal, in a minimally invasive way, of certain colonic lesions that would otherwise require surgical or ablative treatment. Because the plane of resection during endoscopic mucosal resection is typically the middle to deep submucosal layer, compared with standard polypectomy, which normally provides resection at a mucosal level, endoscopic mucosal resection offers the advantage of providing en bloc resection specimens for histopathologic analysis. Indications to perform endoscopic mucosal resection are adenoma and small, well-differentiated carcinoma, confined to the mucosa or with minimal invasion to submucosa, and without any invasion to lymphatic channels or vessels. The most frequently reported major complications, such as perforation (0-5%) and bleeding (0.5-6%), may be controlled by endoscopic methods and rarely require surgical treatment. Follow-up postendoscopic mucosal resection is essential because of the risk of neoplastic recurrence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome