Colonic polyps arise from the mucosa of the large intestine and can be broadly categorized into neoplastic or non-neoplastic. The majority of polyps are asymptomatic, but rectorrhagia, abdominal pain or constipation may be seen. The gold standard of diagnosis and treatment is colonoscopy and polypectomy, respectively, while more extensive surgery is indicated in case of larger polyps that protrude the deeper layers of the colon.
The vast majority of polyps do not produce any symptoms and remain undiagnosed throughout life . Rectorrhagia, abdominal pain, cramping and changes in bowel habits are complaints reported in symptomatic polyps. In rare cases, large villous adenomas may cause watery diarrhea .
Entire Body System
Benson, pathologist and director of laboratories, Mount Sinai Hospital of Greater Miami, for co-operation and assistance and to Mr. John Thomas for the preparation and description of the photomicrographs. [nejm.org]
Ask the right questions After your colonoscopy, your doctor will send the removed polyps to a pathologist. This way, your polyps can be tested to see if they’re cancerous or pre-cancerous. [mdanderson.org]
When your colon was biopsied, the samples taken were studied under the microscope by a specialized doctor with many years of training called a pathologist. The pathologist sends your doctor a report that gives a diagnosis for each sample taken. [cancer.org]
The result is iron deficiency anemia, which can make you feel tired and short of breath. [mayoclinic.org]
Close-up colonoscopic view of a bleeding auto-amputated sigmoid polyp in a six year old who presented with rectal bleeding and anemia. [naspghan.org]
Very large colon polyps and cancer can manifest with symptoms of weight loss, change in bowel habits including constipation and diarrhea, occult or even overt bleeding with anemia and abdominal pain. [mantasmd.com]
Polyps may cause gastrointestinal bleeding, a shortage of red blood cells (anemia), abdominal pain, and diarrhea. [ghr.nlm.nih.gov]
- Rectal Bleeding
Not only are patients at risk for rectal bleeding and malignant transformation of their polyps but they are also at increased risk for intussusception. [journals.lww.com]
Within all the people who go to their doctor with colonic polyp, 42% report having rectal bleeding, 35% report having blood in stool, and 31% report having constipation. [symcat.com]
When they occur, symptoms include rectal bleeding, bloody stools, abdominal pain and fatigue. Due to chronic blood loss from rectal bleeding and bloody stools, they sometimes present with iron deficiency anemia. [en.wikipedia.org]
bleeding correlates with size and may be seen in as many as 67% • Imaging • Rate of detection of polyps less than 1 cm is higher with air contrast • Rate of detection of polyps 1cm or greater is about equal with single vs. double contrast • From 1/4 [learningradiology.com]
Close-up colonoscopic view of a bleeding auto-amputated sigmoid polyp in a six year old who presented with rectal bleeding and anemia. [naspghan.org]
- Blood in Stool
Colonoscopy was performed due to her complain of repeated blood in stools and subsequently the patient was misdiagnosed as a sigmoid colon polyp. Nonetheless, the "polyp" was not able to be removed endoscopically. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
If symptoms do appear, they may include: Changes in bowel habit, including constipation or diarrhea Blood in stools (either dark, tarry stools or bright red stools) Abdominal pain If this combination of symptoms persists for more than a week, make an [coloncancer.about.com]
For those who do, however, symptoms may include Bleeding from the anus that may cause blood on your underwear, or on toilet paper after a bowel movement Blood in stool; black-looking, or red-streaked stool Constipation lasting more than a week Diarrhea [puristat.com]
However, if you do experience symptoms, they may include: blood in the stool or rectal bleeding pain, diarrhea, or constipation that lasts longer than one week nausea or vomiting if you have a large polyp Blood on your toilet tissue or blood-streaked [healthline.com]
- Intestinal Perforation
Complications of polypectomy are uncommon but include bleeding and, rarely, intestinal perforation. [emedicine.com]
- Fecal Incontinence
WHAT IS FECAL INCONTINENCE? Fecal incontinence (also called anal or bowel incontinence) is the impaired ability to control the passage of gas or stool. This is a common problem, but often not discussed due to embarrassment. [fascrs.org]
Other common colo-rectal-anal disorders include microscopic colitis and fecal incontinence. [mantasmd.com]
Abstract Favorites PDF Get Content & Permissions Open SDC A Novel, Duodenal-Release Formulation of a Combination of Caraway Oil and L-Menthol for the Treatment of Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized Controlled Trial Chey, William D.; Lacy, Brian E.; Cash [nature.com]
[…] disease|GERD ) - Esophageal stricture - تضخم المرئ Megaesophagus المعدة Gastritis ( Atrophic, Ménétrier's disease, التهاب المعدةوالامعاء Gastroenteritis ) - قرحة هضمية Peptic ulcer|Peptic (gastric) ulcer ( Cushing ulcer, Dieulafoy's lesion ) - عسرهضم Dyspepsia [marefa.org]
Although some studies report that up to 20% of polyps can be missed by this procedure , colonoscopy is the gold standard of colonic polyp diagnosis. Firstly, a direct view into the entire colonic mucosa can be obtained and secondly, treatment can be performed during colonoscopy , which is why it is significantly favored over other studies such as barium enema and rectosigmoidoscopy. Colonoscopy is used to identify the number, size and location of polyps. This method also allows biopsy sampling and subsequent histopathological examination, the most important test in differentiation between polyps. In patients that have more than 20 adenomas, genetic evaluation for familial syndromes is indicated .
A colorectal polyp is a polyp (fleshy growth) occurring on the lining of the colon or rectum. [en.wikipedia.org]
In 535 patients with rectosigmoid polyps, the prevalence of proximal colonic polyps, neoplastic polyps and advanced adenomas were 33.4%, 27.3% and 2.9%, respectively. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Intestinal polyps; Polyps - colorectal; Adenomatous polyps; Hyperplastic polyps; Villous adenomas; Serrated polyp; Serrated adenoma; Precancerous polyps; Colon cancer - polyps; Bleeding - colorectal polyps American Gastroenterological Association. [medlineplus.gov]
Complete removal of all potentially hazardous polyps is performed in all patients. Usually, polypectomy is performed during colonoscopy and complete excision is vital for preventing recurrence at that site . Histopathological testing is important for further treatment, as colonic polyps that have protruded into deeper sections of the colon may necessitate colonic resection. Follow-up of patients with successfully removed polyps is important, as they may appear at other sites within a few years.
Colonic polyps are divided into two major categories: nonneoplastic and neoplastic. Nonneoplastic polyps include :
- Inflammatory polyps - Most commonly appear in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially in ulcerative colitis.
- Hamartomatous polyps - Juvenile polyps most commonly appear in young children, they share similar morphology with inflammatory polyps, but they may appear either as a solitary lesion or as a part of juvenile polyposis, an autosomal dominant genetic disease characterized by mutations in SMAD4 and BMPR1A . Juvenile polyps are the most common subtype of hamartomatous polyps, formations that may appear in some quite rare familial syndromes such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and Cowden's syndrome.
- Hyperplastic polyps - Current theories state that this type of polyp stems from decreased turnover of epithelial cells, leading to accumulation of goblet cells, which is supported by the fact that it is observed primarily in elderly.
On the other hand, neoplastic polyps may be divided into tubular, tubulovillous or villous adenomas, depending on their structure. It is accepted that colonic adenomas and their progression toward carcinomas appear due to several genetic mutations, most notably in APC genes, while p53, K-ras, and DCC gene changes are other important mutations . The role of dietary habits has been frequently mentioned in the pathogenesis of colorectal carcinoma but its clear association with the formation of colonic polyps remain to be solidified.
Studies have estimated various prevalence rates of colonic polyps. Postmortem examinations show a prevalence rate of 40-60% after 60 years  while screening colonoscopy revealed an estimated overall prevalence rate of 27% . In addition to advanced age, several risk factors for malignant transformation such as tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and family history of adenomatous polyps are established .
The pathogenesis of adenomatous colonic polyps remains incompletely understood, but genetic factors seem to play the biggest role, especially in familial forms. Mutations in the APC gene is thought to be the single most important step in the pathogenesis of these lesions, followed by p53, K-ras and DCC, but the complete model remains to be elucidated . BRAF mutations have been observed in certain adenoma subtypes as well . The propensity of adenomatous polyps to advance toward malignant lesions is the base of their extraordinary clinical significance. This behavior is particularly related to large, sessile adenomas with a significant amount of villous component.
In hyperplastic polyps, alterations in normal cell shedding lead to accumulation of goblet cells. In familial adenomatous polyposis, the key genetic event is the mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene . In Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, mutations in LKB1/STK11 genes occur, while Juvenile polyposis is characterized by SMAD4 and BMPR1A gene alterations .
Since the mechanism of polyp formation remains unclear, little can be done to prevent their occurrence. However, wide-scale screening of patients has shown remarkable results in detecting polyps in their early stages. In fact, approximately 20-30% of adenomas are detected by screening , and marked reductions in cost as well as treatment difficulties by screening methods have been observed . For these reasons, certain guidelines suggest performing a colonoscopy every 1-3 years, depending on the presence of risk factors and previous colonoscopy findings , so that the diagnosis of colonic polyps is made early on.
Colonic polyps are an important clinical entity as some forms lead to colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the most common and most lethal malignancies worldwide. In terms of appearance, polyps may be described as sessile or pedunculated, while further classification based on morphology and histological appearance divides colonic polyps into neoplastic and nonneoplastic . Hyperplastic, inflammatory and hamartomatous polyps comprise the nonneoplastic group, which can appear either as solitary lesions or as a part of some familial syndromes, such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Cowden's syndrome and tuberous sclerosis . Various forms of adenomatous polyps, on the other hand, are premalignant lesions that lead to CRC in up to 90% of cases, according to some studies . Prevalence of adenomatous polyps at 60 years of age ranges between 30-40%, but significant variations in these rates exist . Larger polyp diameter (> 10 mm) is shown to be one of the most important risk factors for its progression into malignancy . In addition to the lesion size, its appearance within familial syndromes such as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis is also considered to be a risk factor. Several mutations have been identified in adenomatous polyps and their progression toward malignant change, including involvement of APC, p53, K-ras and DCC genes. Mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are the key event in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Patients are usually asymptomatic, especially in the presence of polyps that are smaller in diameter (<10mm). The most frequent symptoms involve rectorrhagia, abdominal pain, and alterations in normal bowel functioning . Colonoscopy is the main diagnostic procedure in the case of colonic polyps, which are easily detected by this method. A full inspection of the colon is necessary to assess the number of polyps, as well as their size, in order to proceed with treatment. In addition to its superiority to barium enema and rectosigmoidoscopy, treatment can be performed during colonoscopy, which primarily includes polypectomy. In the setting of deeper involvement, colon resection can be indicated . Because of the fact that adenomatous polyps often lead to CRC, screening and removal of polyps in early stages are one of the most important strategies in preventing cancer of the colon.
Colonic polyps are pathological formations that arise from the colonic mucosa and are generally classified into those that may progress to colorectal cancer and those that may not. Adenomatous polyps are considered as prerequisite lesions to colon cancer, as some studies have determined that up to 90% of colorectal cancer arise from these polyps. Other colonic polyps, such as inflammatory, hyperplastic and hamartomatous polyps are either isolated findings or they may be a part of certain genetic syndromes. Adenomatous polyps can also appear in familial syndromes. Familial adenomatous polyposis, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Cowden's syndrome and tuberous sclerosis are diseases in which large numbers of polyps appear. The exact reason why these polyps develop remains unclear, but mutations of numerous genes have been identified, leading to the fact that genetic processes are the most likely cause. Smoking, alcohol consumption, increased polyp size (> 10 mm) and number are proposed as risk factors for progression to colorectal cancer. Colonic polyps are a somewhat common finding in elderly patients, as prevalence rates are estimated to range from 40-60%, but they may often go undetected, as they rarely cause any symptoms. Large polyps could, however, cause rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and bloating. To make the diagnosis of colonic polyps, colonoscopy is the single most important procedure, which comprises insertion of an endoscope into the rectum and subsequent visualization of the entire large intestine. This procedure is favored over barium enema and rectosigmoidoscopy (a procedure that evaluates only the last third of the colon) due to its ability to identify polyps with precision, but more importantly because treatment can be carried out during this procedure. The overall goal of treatment is to maximally reduce the chance of colon cancer development. All polyps should be removed and microscopically examined to determine the exact type, in order to plan further treatment and follow-up strategies. In the case of large polyps that protrude in deeper layers of the colon wall, resection of the colon may be indicated. Since the introduction of colonoscopy in regular practice, prevention by means of massive screening for colonic polyps has shown to be quite effective, as 20-30% of polyps are shown to be identified during screening. Depending on previous colonoscopic findings, guidelines for prevention suggest regular follow-ups at every 1-3 years, so that effective reduction in the burden of colorectal cancer can be achieved.
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