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Surg Endosc. 1996 Apr;10(4):418-21.

Gastroduodenal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis.

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Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Lahey Hitchcock Medical Center, Burlington, MA 01805, USA.



Malignant degeneration of gastroduodenal polyps has been noted in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. To evaluate this problem further, patients with familial adenomatous polyposis were contacted and offered upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy.


A prospective endoscopic examination was performed in 42 patients.


The median age of patients at endoscopy was 35 years. The duration of known familial adenomatous polyposis at the time of endoscopy was 8 years. Polyps were visualized in 21 patients (50%). Gastric polyps were seen in 14 patients (33%), duodenal polyps were seen in 11 patients (26%), and ampullary polyps were seen in 7 patients (17%). Nine patients (43%) had polyps in more than one site. Adenomatous change was noted in 73% of duodenal lesions and in only 14% of gastric polyps. Surgical intervention was required in four patients; one patient had an early ampullary carcinoma, and three patients had severe dysplasia involving the duodenum or ampulla. All four patients had undergone a previous screening examination, results of which were normal in three patients. Compared with other patients, these four patients were older (median age, 58 years; p = 0.02) and had a longer duration of disease (median duration, 25 years; p = 0.002).


All patients with familial adenomatous polyposis require lifelong endoscopic surveillance to detect malignant degeneration, which may appear later in life.

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