Successful Treatment of Juvenile Polyposis of Infancy With Sirolimus

Pediatrics. 2019 Aug;144(2):e20182922. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2922.


Juvenile polyposis syndrome is a rare autosomal dominant condition characterized by multiple hamartomatous polyps throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Juvenile polyposis of infancy is a generalized severe form of juvenile polyposis syndrome associated with a poor prognosis. A 47-month-old female infant presented initially with gastrointestinal bleeding and protein-losing enteropathy at 4 months of age. At the age of 12 months, the condition worsened, requiring albumin infusions every 24 to 48 hours and red blood cell transfusions every 15 days. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, and small-bowel enteroscopy revealed diffuse polyposis that was treated with multiple endoscopic polypectomies. Despite subtotal colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis, protein-losing enteropathy and bleeding persisted, requiring continued blood transfusions and albumin infusions. A chromosomal microarray revealed a single allele deletion in chromosome 10q23, involving both the PTEN and BMPR1A genes. Loss of PTEN function is associated with an increased activation of the protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway involved in cell proliferation. Treatment with sirolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, was initiated with the aim of inhibiting polyp growth. Soon after initiation of treatment with sirolimus, blood and albumin infusions were no longer needed and resulted in improved patient growth and quality of life. This case represents the first detailed report of successful drug therapy for life-threatening juvenile polyposis of infancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Intestinal Polyposis / congenital*
  • Intestinal Polyposis / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Polyposis / drug therapy
  • Intestinal Polyposis / surgery
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / diagnosis*
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / drug therapy*
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / surgery
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Sirolimus

Supplementary concepts

  • Juvenile polyposis syndrome