Background: Solitary juvenile polyps are considered benign. In contrast, juvenile polyposis is associated with malignancy and poor long-term outcome. Recent reports suggest that solitary juvenile polyps may also undergo both adenomatous and malignant change. The long-term outcome of patients with solitary juvenile polyps is unknown. Patients are treated conservatively and discharged from follow-up. The present study was designed to examine the incidence of cancer and mortality of these patients, comparing their life expectancy with that of the general population.
Methods: The outcome of 82 patients with a solitary juvenile polyp between 1958 and 1982 was examined by life table analysis. Patients were traced through the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys for death and cancer registration. Patients were compared with an age- and sex-matched group of the general population.
Results: The relative risk of dying for patients who have previously had a solitary juvenile polyp in comparison with the general population was found to be 0.66 (95% confidence interval, 0.34-1.14). There was only one case of colorectal cancer.
Conclusions: Patients with a solitary juvenile polyp are not at increased risk of dying of or developing colorectal cancer and do not require further follow-up or investigations.