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J Crohns Colitis. 2018 Jun 28;12(7):777-783. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjy044.

Incidence and Classification of Postcolonoscopy Colorectal Cancers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Dutch Population-Based Cohort Study.

Author information

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
NUTRIM, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
GROW, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen/Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Maxima Medical Center, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Background and Aims:

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] colitis are at increased risk for colorectal cancer [CRC]. We examined the proportion and most likely aetiology of potentially preventable postcolonoscopy CRCs [PCCRCs] in a population-based cohort. Furthermore, adherence to IBD surveillance guidelines was evaluated in both PCCRCs and the remainder of prevalent CRCs.


All IBD patients diagnosed from 1991 to 2011 in the South Limburg region of The Netherlands [i.e. IBDSL cohort] were included. CRC cases were cross-checked with the Dutch pathology database and cancer registry. PCCRCs were defined as cancers diagnosed within 6-60 months after a colonoscopy and were classified as attributable to 'inappropriate surveillance interval', 'inadequate bowel examination', 'incomplete resection', 'missed lesion' or 'newly developed cancer'.


Twenty CRC cases were identified during 25,931 patient years of follow-up in 2,801 patients. The proportion of PCCRCs was 45.0%. Of these, 55.6% could be considered a 'missed lesion', while other possible aetiologies occurred only once. Considering both PCCRCs [n=9] and prevalent CRCs [n=11], ten were detected after publication of the surveillance guideline, but only three patients were enrolled. Moreover, 6 CRCs [30.0%] were detected before the recommended start of surveillance.


In the IBDSL cohort, 45.0% of all CRCs were considered to be PCCRCs, mainly classified as missed lesions. Additionally, a large proportion of CRCs in our cohort were observed before a surveillance endoscopy was performed. Therefore, stringent adherence to IBD surveillance guidelines, improving endoscopy techniques and adjusting the surveillance program may lead to a decrease in CRC incidence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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