Treatment of adenoma recurrence after endoscopic mucosal resection

Gut. 2023 Oct;72(10):1875-1886. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2023-330300. Epub 2023 Jul 6.


Objective: Residual or recurrent adenoma (RRA) after endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of large non-pedunculated colorectal polyps (LNPCPs) of ≥20 mm is a major limitation. Data on outcomes of the endoscopic treatment of recurrence are scarce, and no evidence-based standard exists. We investigated the efficacy of endoscopic retreatment over time in a large prospective cohort.

Design: Over 139 months, detailed morphological and histological data on consecutive RRA detected after EMR for single LNPCPs at one tertiary endoscopy centre were prospectively recorded during structured surveillance colonoscopy. Endoscopic retreatment was performed on cases with evidence of RRA and was performed predominantly using hot snare resection, cold avulsion forceps with adjuvant snare tip soft coagulation or a combination of the two.

Results: 213 (14.6%) patients had RRA (168 (78.9%) at first surveillance and 45 (21.1%) thereafter). RRA was commonly 2.5-5.0 mm (48.0%) and unifocal (78.7%). Of 202 (94.8%) cases which had macroscopic evidence of RRA, 194 (96.0%) underwent successful endoscopic therapy and 161 (83.4%) had a subsequent follow-up colonoscopy. Of the latter, endoscopic therapy of recurrence was successful in 149 (92.5%) of 161 in the per-protocol analysis, and 149 (73.8%) of 202 in the intention-to-treat analysis, with a mean of 1.15 (SD 0.36) retreatment sessions. No adverse events were directly attributable to endoscopic therapy. Further RRA after endoscopic therapy was endoscopically treatable in most cases. Overall, only 9 (4.2%, 95% CI 2.2% to 7.8%) of 213 patients with RRA required surgery.Thus 159 (98.8%, 95% CI 95.1% to 99.8%) of 161 cases with initially successful endoscopic treatment of RRA and follow-up remained surgery-free for a median of 13 months (IQR 25.0) of follow-up.

Conclusions: RRA after EMR of LNPCPs can be effectively treated using simple endoscopic techniques with long-term adenoma remission of >90%; only 16% required retreatment. Therefore, more technically complex, morbid and resource-intensive endoscopic or surgical techniques are required only in selected cases.

Trial registration numbers: NCT01368289 and NCT02000141.


Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma* / pathology
  • Colonic Polyps* / pathology
  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection* / adverse effects
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection* / methods
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies

Associated data