Personalised surveillance for serrated polyposis syndrome: results from a prospective 5-year international cohort study

Gut. 2020 Jan;69(1):112-121. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-318134. Epub 2019 Apr 13.


Background and aims: Serrated polyposis syndrome (SPS) is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). International guidelines recommend surveillance intervals of 1-2 years. However, yearly surveillance likely leads to overtreatment for many. We prospectively assessed a surveillance protocol aiming to safely reduce the burden of colonoscopies.

Methods: Between 2013 and 2018, we enrolled SPS patients from nine Dutch and Spanish hospitals. Patients were surveilled using a protocol appointing either a 1-year or 2-year interval after each surveillance colonoscopy, based on polyp burden. Primary endpoint was the 5-year cumulative incidence of CRC and advanced neoplasia (AN) during surveillance.

Results: We followed 271 SPS patients for a median of 3.6 years. During surveillance, two patients developed CRC (cumulative 5-year incidence 1.3%[95% CI 0% to 3.2%]). The 5-year AN incidence was 44% (95% CI 37% to 52%), and was lower for patients with SPS type III (26%) than for patients diagnosed with type I (53%) or type I and III (59%, p<0.001). Most patients were recommended a 2-year interval, and those recommended a 2-year interval were not at increased risk of AN: AN incidence after a 2-year recommendation was 15.6% compared with 24.4% after a 1-year recommendation (OR 0.57, p=0.08).

Conclusion: Risk stratification substantially reduced colonoscopy burden while achieving CRC incidence similar to previous studies. AN incidence is considerable in SPS patients, but extension of surveillance intervals was not associated with increased AN in those identified as low-risk by the protocol. We identified SPS type III patients as low-risk group that might benefit from even less frequent surveillance.

Trial registration number: The study was registered on; trial-ID NTR4609.

Keywords: colonic polyps; colorectal cancer; polyposis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / diagnosis*
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / epidemiology
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / surgery
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Medical Overuse / prevention & control
  • Medical Overuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology

Associated data

  • NTR/NTR4609