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Virchows Arch. 2017 Nov;471(5):611-617. doi: 10.1007/s00428-017-2125-z. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Small bowel adenocarcinoma complicating Crohn's disease: a single-centre experience emphasizing the importance of screening for dysplasia.

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Department of Pathology, AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, 92110, Clichy, France.
University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 75018, Paris, France.
Department of Radiology, AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, 92110, Clichy, France.
Department of Genetic, AP-HP, Hôpital Bichat, 75018, Paris, France.
Department of Gastroenterology, AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, 92110, Clichy, France.
Department of Colorectal Surgery, AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, 92110, Clichy, France.
Department of Pathology, AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, 92110, Clichy, France.
Service d'Anatomie-Pathologie, Hôpital Beaujon, 100 Boulevard du Général Leclerc, 92110, Clichy, France.


Small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA) complicating Crohn's disease (CD) is rare and generally found incidentally on surgical specimens. We report our experience in CD-associated SBA observed this last decade in a tertiary referral centre in order to update its incidence, clinical presentation and pathological features. All SBAs diagnosed in patients who underwent surgery for CD between 2006 and 2016 were retrospectively included. Clinico-pathological characteristics were reviewed, and follow-up was updated. SBA was diagnosed in 9 (1.7%) of 522 patients who underwent SB resection(s) after a median CD duration of 15 years [0-32]. The median age at diagnosis was 46 years. Seven (78%) patients had obstructive symptoms refractory to medical treatment. Pre-operative biopsy revealed neoplasia in five (56%) patients (dysplasia in three and SBA in two) justifying the surgery. Two (29%) of the seven patients with imaging had features suggestive of cancer. In all specimens, SBA developed in active ileitis with adjacent dysplasia. Stage I low-grade tubulo-glandular adenocarcinoma was observed in 33% of patients. Stage IV high-grade adenocarcinoma was observed in 56% of patients, and mucinous/signet ring cell differentiation predominated in 44% of patients. Molecular analysis showed no BRAF mutation, a KRAS mutation in one case and a microsatellite instability phenotype suggestive of Lynch syndrome in one case. After a median follow-up of 24 months [7-82], four (44%) patients died with advanced stage IV SBA. This surgical series confirms that CD-associated SBA is rare with an incidence of 1.7%. Adjacent dysplasia was present in all specimens and was identified before surgery in all patients who benefit from ileal biopsies. This strengthens the importance of screening all longstanding CD by endoscopy if surgery is not considered.


Crohn’s disease; Dysplasia; Endoscopic screening; Inflammatory bowel disease; Molecular analysis; Small bowel adenocarcinoma

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