Serrated lesions: A challenging enemy

World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Sep 14;27(34):5625-5629. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i34.5625.


The serrated pathway accounts for 30%-35% of colorectal cancer (CRC). Unlike hyperplastic polyps, both sessile serrated lesions (SSLs) and traditional serrated adenomas are premalignant lesions, yet SSLs are considered to be the principal serrated precursor of CRCs. Serrated lesions represent a challenge in detection, classification, and removal-contributing to post-colonoscopy cancer. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to characterize these lesions properly to ensure complete removal. A retrospective cohort study developed a diagnostic scoring system for SSLs to facilitate their detection endoscopically and subsequent removal. From the study, it can be ascertained that both indistinct border and mucus cap are essential in both recognizing and diagnosing serrated lesions. The proximal colon poses technical challenges for some endoscopists, which is why high-quality colonoscopy plays such an important role. The indistinct border of some SSLs poses another challenge due to difficult complete resection. Overall, it is imperative that gastroenterologists use the key features of mucus cap, indistinct borders, and size of at least five millimeters along with a high-quality colonoscopy and a good bowel preparation to improve the SSL detection rate.

Keywords: Colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer screening; Hyperplastic polyps; Polyps; Sessile serrated lesions; Traditional serrated adenomas.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies