Pattern of Inflammation on Surveillance Colonoscopy Does Not Predict Development of Colitis-associated Neoplasia

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Identification of colonoscopic features which increase colitis-associated neoplasia risk in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) may allow patient risk stratification. Our objective was to investigate whether colonoscopic features correlate with the risk of developing colitis-associated neoplasia in patients with UC on surveillance.


In this retrospective case–control study, patients with UC who underwent surveillance colonoscopies from 1998 to 2011 were included. Patients with UC with neoplasia were compared with a matched control group of patients with UC without neoplasia in a 1:3 ratio.


A total of 111 eligible patients with UC with colon neoplasia were compared with 356 patients with UC without colon neoplasia. On univariate analysis, colitis-associated neoplasia was associated with male gender (odds ratio [OR] = 2.58, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71–3.89, P ≤ 0.001) and smoking history (OR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.1–2.39, P = 0.045) but not with colonoscopic features, including tubular colon/shortened colon, scarring, segment of severe inflammation, inflammatory polyps, colonic stricture, or macroscopically normal appearance colonoscopy. In multivariate analysis, only male gender (OR = 2.68, 95% CI: 1.77–4.08, P ≤ 0.001) was found to be associated with an increased risk, whereas the use of 5-aminosalicylates was associated with a decreased risk for colitis-associated neoplasia (OR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.31–0.84, P = 0.009).


In patients with UC, colonoscopic features especially on standard-definition white-light colonoscopy did not appear to reliably predict the development of colitis-associated neoplasia. This will leave room for image-enhanced endoscopy technology and molecular markers for the early and accurate detection of colitis-associated neoplasia.

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