Objectives: The sessile serrated adenoma/polyp (SSA/P) is increasingly recognized as an important precursor to colorectal cancer (CRC) and may contribute to proximal postcolonoscopy CRCs. Hyperplastic polyps (HPs) generally follow a more benign course than do SSA/Ps, but they have a similar histologic appearance. Our aims were to identify patient and polyp factors associated with reclassification of HPs as SSA/Ps during a central pathology review and to characterize and compare their subsequent clinical management with other polyps.
Methods: From 2003 to 2008, we prospectively enrolled asymptomatic persons aged 50-74 years in a study of screening colonoscopy. Because criteria for SSA/P diagnosis evolved over our study period, we initiated a second review of all HPs >5 mm in size in 2011, with reclassification of polyps if indicated. Rates of subsequent colonoscopies, polypectomies, and CRCs were identified.
Results: We enrolled 2,527 persons who underwent colonoscopy in whom 111 had HPs >5 mm. Thirty-two of the 111 participants (28.8%) with HPs >5 mm had their polyps reclassified as SSA/Ps. There were no significant differences in patient characteristics between those with reclassified SSA/Ps and those who had HPs >5 mm. SSA/Ps were more likely to be proximal (P<0.001) and larger (P<0.007) than the HPs. In all, 48.3% of those with high-risk adenomas received appropriate follow-up compared with 26.1% of those with high-risk SSA/Ps.
Conclusions: Almost 1/3 of recently diagnosed HPs >5 mm were reclassified as SSA/Ps. Patients previously diagnosed with larger HPs in the proximal colon may benefit from a pathologic review to ensure appropriate diagnosis and follow-up.