Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Syndrome: An Update and Review of Extraintestinal Manifestations

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 Nov;143(11):1382-1398. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2018-0570-RA. Epub 2019 May 9.


Context.—: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a rare genetic disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance, defined by numerous adenomatous polyps, which inevitably progress to colorectal carcinoma unless detected and managed early. Greater than 70% of patients with this syndrome also develop extraintestinal manifestations, such as multiple osteomas, dental abnormalities, and a variety of other lesions located throughout the body. These manifestations have historically been subcategorized as Gardner syndrome, Turcot syndrome, or gastric adenocarcinoma and proximal polyposis of the stomach. Recent studies, however, correlate the severity of gastrointestinal disease and the prominence of extraintestinal findings to specific mutations within the adenomatous polyposis coli gene (APC), supporting a spectrum of disease as opposed to subcategorization. Advances in immunohistochemical and molecular techniques shed new light on the origin, classification, and progression risk of different entities associated with FAP.

Objective.—: To provide a comprehensive clinicopathologic review of neoplastic and nonneoplastic entities associated with FAP syndrome, with emphasis on recent developments in immunohistochemical and molecular profiles of extraintestinal manifestations in the thyroid, skin, soft tissue, bone, central nervous system, liver, and pancreas, and the subsequent changes in classification schemes and risk stratification.

Data sources.—: This review will be based on peer-reviewed literature and the authors' experiences.

Conclusions.—: In this review we will provide an update on the clinicopathologic manifestations, immunohistochemical profiles, molecular features, and prognosis of entities seen in FAP, with a focus on routine recognition and appropriate workup of extraintestinal manifestations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / diagnosis
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / pathology*
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Gardner Syndrome / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mutation
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / etiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Skin / pathology


  • APC protein, human
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein

Supplementary concepts

  • Turcot syndrome