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Mod Pathol. 2002 Jul;15(7):718-23.

Sporadic fundic gland polyposis: a clinical, histological, and molecular analysis.

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Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Sporadic fundic gland polyposis (SFGP) is defined as multiple fundic gland polyps in patients without familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome (FAP). Although little is known about the genetic changes in SFGP, mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway have been recently linked to fundic gland polyps in other settings: sporadic polyps are linked to activating beta-catenin mutations, whereas FAP-associated fundic gland polyps are caused by second somatic hits in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene. The relationship between SFGP, single sporadic fundic gland polyps, and FAP-associated polyps remains unclear, and SFGP remain poorly characterized at the clinical, histological, and molecular levels. A retrospective study was undertaken of eight patients with SFGP who had >/=10 polyps with at least five endoscopic biopsy specimens available for study. One additional patient with attenuated FAP who underwent partial gastrectomy was included as a control. The medical records and biopsy specimens were reviewed. Mutations of the beta-catenin gene were evaluated in each fundic gland as well as in control nonpolypoid tissue by direct sequencing of a mutational hot spot in exon 3 of the beta-catenin gene, which encodes the GSK-3beta phosphorylation sites, and a HinfI endonuclease digestion assay. The four men and four women in the study were an average of 57 years of age at biopsy. All patients were on acid-suppression therapy, 5/8 with proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) and 3/8 with Zantac. Sixty-two polyps were studied, and all were <10 mm, with most between 2 and 7 mm. The polyps were histologically identical to single sporadic fundic gland polyps. No dysplasia was seen. Forty-seven of 62 polyps (76%) had detectable beta-catenin mutations. Mutations were found in all eight of the patients. All were point mutations in codons 32, 33, 34, and 37 and are either phosphorylation sites or immediately adjacent to phosphorylation sites, findings identical to that seen in single sporadic fundic gland polyps. Each polyp had a single mutation, and each patient had more than one unique mutation (median = 4), indicating a multifocal origin for the polyps. No mutations were found in nonpolypoid control tissue and in polyps from the attenuated FAP patient. The patients with SFGP in this series were all between 40 and 70 years of age and had histories of acid-suppressive therapy. The fundic gland polyps were histologically and genetically identical to single sporadic fundic gland polyps and demonstrated frequent somatic activating mutations in exon 3 of the beta-catenin gene.

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