Relationship of colonoscopy-detected serrated polyps with synchronous advanced neoplasia in average-risk individuals

Gastrointest Endosc. 2013 Aug;78(2):333-341.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Background: Serrated cancers account for 10% to 20% of all colorectal cancers (CRC) and more than 30% of interval cancers. The presence of proximal serrated polyps and large (≥10 mm) serrated polyps (LSP) has been correlated with colorectal neoplasia.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of serrated polyps and their association with synchronous advanced neoplasia in a cohort of average-risk population and to assess the efficacy of one-time colonoscopy and a biennial fecal immunochemical test for reducing CRC-related mortality. This study focused on the sample of 5059 individuals belonging to the colonoscopy arm.

Design: Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: The ColonPrev study, a population-based, multicenter, nationwide, randomized, controlled trial.

Patients: A total of 5059 asymptomatic men and women aged 50 to 69 years.

Intervention: Colonoscopy.

Main outcome measurements: Prevalence of serrated polyps and their association with synchronous advanced neoplasia.

Results: Advanced neoplasia was detected in 520 individuals (10.3%) (CRC was detected in 27 [0.5%] and advanced adenomas in 493 [9.7%]). Serrated polyps were found in 1054 individuals (20.8%). A total of 329 individuals (6.5%) had proximal serrated polyps, and 90 (1.8%) had LSPs. Proximal serrated polyps or LSPs were associated with male sex (odds ratio [OR] 2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.76-4.45 and OR 1.65, 95% CI, 1.31-2.07, respectively). Also, LSPs were associated with advanced neoplasia (OR 2.49, 95% CI, 1.47-4.198), regardless of their proximal (OR 4.15, 95% CI, 1.69-10.15) or distal (OR 2.61, 95% CI, 1.48-4.58) locations. When we analyzed subtypes of serrated polyps, proximal hyperplasic polyps were related to advanced neoplasia (OR 1.61, 95% CI, 1.13-2.28), although no correlation with the location of the advanced neoplasia was observed.

Limitations: Pathology criteria for the diagnosis of serrated polyps were not centrally reviewed. The morphology of the hyperplasic polyps (protruded or flat) was not recorded. Finally, because of the characteristics of a population-based study carried out in average-risk patients, the proportion of patients with CRC was relatively small.

Conclusion: LSPs, but not proximal serrated polyps, are associated with the presence of synchronous advanced neoplasia. Further studies are needed to determine the risk of proximal hyperplastic polyps.

Keywords: CIMP; CRC; CpG island methylation phenotype; HP; LSP; MSI-H; SSA; TSA; colorectal cancer; high degree of microsatellite instability; hyperplastic polyp; large serrated polyp; sessile serrated adenoma; traditional serrated adenoma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors