Small rectosigmoid polyps as markers of proximal neoplasms

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The aim of this study was to determine the spatial distribution and histotype of small colorectal polyps and to determine the validity of distal-small colorectal polyps as markers of proximal neoplasms.


In 366 patients who underwent total colonoscopy and removal of all polyps, the presence and features of polyps were recorded. The relationship between proximal neoplasms and distal polyps was investigated in 216 of 366 subjects who had no personal or familial history of colorectal neoplasia.


Of 366 patients, 96 were free from polyps. A total of 733 small colorectal neoplasms was removed from the remainder: 79.9 percent neoplastic and 20.1 percent hyperplastic, inflammatory, or hamartomatous. High-grade dysplasia was noted in 2.7 percent of the neoplastic polyps. One adenoma containing invasive carcinoma was observed. In the subset of 216 patients, proximal neoplasms were found in 11.4 percent of those with no distal polyps, 338 percent of those with distal-small colorectal polyps only (P<0.01), and 58.8 percent of those with at least one polyp >5 mm in diameter (P=0.001). The proximal neoplasm percentage was the same in patients with at least one adenomatous-small polyp and those with only hyperplastic-small polyps.


A distal-small colorectal polyp, whether adenomatous or hyperplastic, may be a proximal neoplasm marker. Total colonoscopy is thus justified in all patients with distal polyps, regardless of their size and histotype

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