Long-term Outcome of Small, Incidentally Detected Rectal Neuroendocrine Tumors Removed by Simple Excisional Biopsy Compared With the Advanced Endoscopic Resection During Screening Colonoscopy

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Incidental, small rectal neuroendocrine tumors during colonoscopy screening are sometimes removed using biopsy forceps. Few studies have examined the clinical course of rectal neuroendocrine tumors removed by simple excisional biopsy.


We investigated the long-term outcome of rectal neuroendocrine tumors removed by simple excisional biopsy compared with standard endoscopic resection.


This was a cohort study.


This study was performed at a healthcare center in Korea.


We enrolled patients with rectal neuroendocrine tumors detected during a screening colonoscopy between 2003 and 2015.


The clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes (overall survival and disease-free survival) of small neuroendocrine tumors <10 mm were compared between the simple excisional biopsy group and advanced endoscopic resection group.


In total, 166 patients were diagnosed with rectal neuroendocrine tumors (≤5 mm, n = 100; 6–9 mm, n = 50; 10–19 mm, n = 15; ≥20 mm, n = 1). Among the 150 patients with neuroendocrine tumors <10 mm, follow-up endoscopy was performed on 99 (59.6%). All of the tumors were confined to the mucosa or submucosa. Thirty-one and 68 patients were included in the simple excisional biopsy and advanced endoscopic resection groups. The overall follow-up duration was 6.5 years (range, 1.0–12.8 y). Neither overall nor disease-related death occurred. Two patients exhibited local recurrence (6.5%, at 8 and 11 y) in the simple excisional biopsy group and 1 patient (1.5%, at 7 y) in the advanced endoscopic resection group, resulting in no significant difference (p = 0.37). All of the recurrences were diagnosed >5 years from initial diagnosis and successfully treated endoscopically.


More long-term data should be warranted.


The long-term outcome of small rectal neuroendocrine tumors <10 mm removed by simple excisional biopsy was excellent. Neither overall survival nor disease-free survival significantly differed between the simple excisional biopsy group and the advanced endoscopic resection group. Thus, simple excisional biopsy and long-term follow-up can be cautiously applied for small rectal neuroendocrine tumors in clinical practice. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A406.

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