Background and aims: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] colitis are at increased risk for colorectal cancer [CRC]. We examined the proportion and most likely aetiology of potentially preventable postcolonoscopy CRCs [PCCRCs] in a population-based cohort. Furthermore, adherence to IBD surveillance guidelines was evaluated in both PCCRCs and the remainder of prevalent CRCs.
Methods: All IBD patients diagnosed from 1991 to 2011 in the South Limburg region of The Netherlands [i.e. IBDSL cohort] were included. CRC cases were cross-checked with the Dutch pathology database and cancer registry. PCCRCs were defined as cancers diagnosed within 6-60 months after a colonoscopy and were classified as attributable to 'inappropriate surveillance interval', 'inadequate bowel examination', 'incomplete resection', 'missed lesion' or 'newly developed cancer'.
Results: Twenty CRC cases were identified during 25,931 patient years of follow-up in 2,801 patients. The proportion of PCCRCs was 45.0%. Of these, 55.6% could be considered a 'missed lesion', while other possible aetiologies occurred only once. Considering both PCCRCs [n=9] and prevalent CRCs [n=11], ten were detected after publication of the surveillance guideline, but only three patients were enrolled. Moreover, 6 CRCs [30.0%] were detected before the recommended start of surveillance.
Conclusions: In the IBDSL cohort, 45.0% of all CRCs were considered to be PCCRCs, mainly classified as missed lesions. Additionally, a large proportion of CRCs in our cohort were observed before a surveillance endoscopy was performed. Therefore, stringent adherence to IBD surveillance guidelines, improving endoscopy techniques and adjusting the surveillance program may lead to a decrease in CRC incidence.