Failure to recognize serrated polyposis syndrome in a cohort with large sessile colorectal polyps

Krishna C. Vemulapalli, Douglas K. Rex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Background: Serrated polyposis syndrome (SPS) is a rare condition of multiple serrated colorectal polyps and cancers. Colorectal cancer risk is increased in SPS. Objective: We determined the prevalence of SPS in a cohort of patients with large (<2 cm) sessile colorectal polyps and the rate at which the diagnosis was made by the clinicians. Design: Review of patient care database. The 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria were used to identify cases of SPS. Setting: Tertiary academic center. Patients: 529 consecutive patients referred for endoscopic resection of a sessile colorectal polyp <2 cm. Main Outcome Measurements: Prevalence of SPS in the cohort and frequency with which the referring physician and the endoscopist recognized SPS. Results: Of the 529 patients, 20 (4%) met the WHO criteria for SPS. Only 1 of these cases was suspected by a referring physician. Twelve cases (60%) were either diagnosed or suspected by the endoscopist at our center. Compared with all other patients without SPS, those with SPS were more likely to have an index lesion (the lesion that led to referral) that was serrated (60% vs 3.8%), to have a cecal or ascending colon index lesion (70% vs 45%), and to be current smokers (42% vs 15%). Including the first colonoscopy to remove the index lesion and 26 follow-up colonoscopies, the endoscopist at our center removed 183 serrated polyps from the 20 patients with SPS; of those polyps, 68 were >1 cm. Three patients were referred for surgical resection of involved colon. Eighteen of the 20 patients with SPS met the WHO criterion of 5 serrated polyps proximal to the sigmoid, of which 2 are >1 cm. Failure to recognize SPS by the referring physician was at least partly related to unrecognized serrated lesions. Failure to recognize SPS by the endoscopist at our institution was the result of not systematically applying WHO criteria to the polyp findings. Limitations: Retrospective study. Conclusions: SPS was common in a cohort of patients with large sessile colorectal polyps, and it was frequently unrecognized. These data suggest the need for better detection of serrated lesions, better awareness of SPS, and more consistent application of SPS criteria to the polyp findings of individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1206-1210
Number of pages5
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • serrated polyposis syndrome
  • SPS
  • WHO
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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