Traditional serrated adenomas of the upper digestive tract

J Clin Pathol. 2016 Jan;69(1):1-5. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2015-203258. Epub 2015 Oct 14.


For many years, it was generally accepted that the vast majority of the colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) evolved from conventional adenomas, via the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. More recently, serrated colorectal polyps (hyperplastic polyps, sessile serrated polyps and traditional serrated adenomas (TSAs)) have emerged as an alternative pathway of colorectal carcinogenesis. It has been estimated that about 30% of the CRC progress via the serrated pathway. Recently, TSAs were also detected in the upper digestive tract. In this work, we review the literature on TSA in the oesophagus, the stomach, the duodenum, the pancreatic main duct and the gallbladder. The review indicated that 53.4% (n=39) out of the 73 TSA of the upper digestive tract now in record showed a simultaneously growing invasive carcinoma. As a corollary, TSAs of the upper digestive tract are aggressive adenomas that should be radically excised, either endoscopically or surgically, to rule out the possibility of a synchronously growing invasive adenocarcinoma or to prevent cancer progression. The present findings substantiate a TSA pathway of carcinogenesis in the upper digestive tract.


Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / chemistry
  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Gallbladder / chemistry
  • Gallbladder / pathology*
  • Gallbladder / surgery
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor