Polypectomy may be adequate treatment for adenoma-like dysplastic lesions in chronic ulcerative colitis

M Engelsgjerd, F A Farraye, R D Odze
Gastroenterology 1999, 117 (6): 1288-94; discussion 1488-91

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC)-associated adenoma-like DALMs (dysplasia-associated lesions or masses) pose a difficult clinical problem to both gastroenterologists and pathologists because they are difficult to distinguish endoscopically and pathologically from sporadic adenomas that develop coincidentally in patients with CUC. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of CUC patients with an adenoma-like DALM treated conservatively and to compare the findings with CUC patients with a coincidental sporadic adenoma.

METHODS: Clinical, endoscopic, and pathological features and outcome of 24 CUC patients with an adenoma-like DALM were compared with those of 10 CUC patients with a coincidental sporadic adenoma and 49 non-CUC (control) patients with a sporadic adenoma. Patients were followed up for a mean of 42.4 and 41.2 months for the 2 CUC groups, respectively, and 37.0 months for the non-CUC controls by endoscopic surveillance.

RESULTS: Of the 24 CUC patients with adenoma-like DALMs (male/female ratio, 14/10; mean age, 61.5 years; mean duration of colitis, 10.4 years), 14 (58%) developed further adenoma-like DALMs within the follow-up interval. Only 1 patient (4%) developed an isolated focus of low-grade dysplasia, and none developed adenocarcinoma. Five of 10 (50%) CUC patients with sporadic adenomas developed further adenomas, and none of the patients in this group developed either dysplasia or adenocarcinoma. Of the 49 non-CUC control patients, 39% developed further adenomas.

CONCLUSIONS: CUC patients who develop an adenoma-like DALM that endoscopically and histologically resembles a sporadic adenoma, regardless of its location (either within or outside areas of documented colitis), may be treated with polypectomy and endoscopic surveillance because of its relatively benign course.

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