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J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Jul;6(6):647-54. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2011.11.013. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Molecular alterations in colitis-associated colorectal neoplasia: study from a low prevalence area using magnifying chromo colonoscopy.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal 576 104, India.



Longstanding ulcerative colitis (UC) predisposes to colorectal cancer (CRC). To understand the molecular pathogenesis of colitis-associated colorectal neoplasia (UC-CRN), we studied the frequency of microsatellite instability (MSI) and mutations in p53, BRAF and KRAS genes in the tissues of patients with long standing UC with or without neoplasia and compared them with colitis patients without risk of neoplasia, and those with sporadic colorectal neoplasia (S-CRN) in an area with lower prevalence for either disease.


Biopsies were obtained during magnifying chromo colonoscopy or routine colonoscopy in consecutive UC patients with high risk (UC-HR) and low risk (UC-LR) of neoplasia, and those with S-CRN. MSI (NCI-Bethesda panel) and mutations in p53, KRAS and BRAF genes were analysed.


Twenty-eight patients with UC-HR, 30 with UC-LR and 30 with S-CRN were included. Six (21.4%) of UC-HR had neoplasia (Progressors). MSI was not detected in the UC-CRN group as compared to 5 (16.7%) in the S-CRN group. p53 mutations occurred in 1 (3.3%) of UC-LR, increasing to 6 (27.3%, P<0.05) and 3 (50%, P<0.05) in the UC-HR subgroups without and with neoplasia respectively, as against 10 (33.3%) in sporadic neoplasia group. KRAS mutations were found only in the presence of neoplasia. None showed the BRAF mutation.


In a population with a lower prevalence for UC and CRC, the molecular pathogenesis of colitis-associated colorectal neoplasia is comparable to that reported from areas with a higher prevalence of these diseases, MSI being an exception.

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