Juvenile polyps: recurrence in patients with multiple and solitary polyps

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Sep;8(9):795-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 May 23.


Background & aims: Juvenile polyps are benign hamartomas with neoplastic potential that are the most frequent gastrointestinal polyp of childhood. Most information about juvenile polyps in childhood comes from small published series that lack detailed outcome data. We sought to identify a large cohort of children with one or more polyps and analyze clinical characteristics, including polyp recurrence, which might contribute to the development of management guidelines.

Methods: A retrospective chart review study of patients with juvenile polyps of the colon was performed. Cases were identified by searching a single hospital pathology database from 1990 to 2009 for the diagnosis of juvenile polyps. Recorded information included basic demographics, family history, genetic testing, and colonoscopy and pathology reports.

Results: A total of 257 children (median age, 5.6 y; 61.5% male) with juvenile polyps were identified. Among 192 patients who underwent complete colonoscopy at initial diagnosis, 117 (60.9%) had a single polyp, 75 (39.1%) had multiple polyps, 8 (4.2%) had polyps restricted to the right colon, and a total of 1653 polyps were found during 350 colonoscopy examinations. Polyps recurred in 21 of 47 (44.7%) patients after initial eradication, including 3 (16.7%) of 18 presenting with a single polyp. Neoplasia was found in 10 of 257 (3.9%) patients (right colon in 7 patients). Germline DNA abnormalities in mothers against decapentaplegic Drosophila (SMAD4), bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1A (BMPR1A), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) were detected in 10 of 23 (43.5%) patients with multiple polyps.

Conclusions: Recurrent polyp formation is common in children with juvenile polyps and occurs in patients with multiple and solitary polyps. Standardized protocols for detecting polyp recurrence, associated gene mutations, and neoplasia should be developed for children with juvenile polyps.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intestinal Polyposis / epidemiology*
  • Intestinal Polyposis / pathology
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies