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World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Feb 14;17(6):766-73. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i6.766.

Identification of patients at-risk for Lynch syndrome in a hospital-based colorectal surgery clinic.

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  • 1Genomic Medicine Laboratory, Experimental Research Center, Hospital de ClĂ­nicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre - RS, 90035-903, Brazil.



To determine the prevalence of a family history suggestive of Lynch syndrome (LS) among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) followed in a coloproctology outpatient clinic in Southern Brazil.


A consecutive sample of patients with CRC were interviewed regarding personal and family histories of cancer. Clinical data and pathology features of the tumor were obtained from chart review.


Of the 212 CRC patients recruited, 61 (29%) reported a family history of CRC, 45 (21.2%) were diagnosed under age 50 years and 11 (5.2%) had more than one primary CRC. Family histories consistent with Amsterdam and revised Bethesda criteria for LS were identified in 22 (10.4%) and 100 (47.2%) patients, respectively. Twenty percent of the colorectal tumors had features of the high microsatellite instability phenotype, which was associated with younger age at CRC diagnosis and with Bethesda criteria (P < 0.001). Only 5.3% of the patients above age 50 years had been previously submitted for CRC screening and only 4% of patients with suspected LS were referred for genetic risk assessment.


A significant proportion of patients with CRC were at high risk for LS. Education and training of health care professionals are essential to ensure proper management.


Colorectal cancer; Family history; Hereditary cancer; Lynch syndrome; Microsatellite instability phenotype

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