Case report—malignant transformation in Cronkhite–Canada syndrome polyp

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Cronkhite–Canada syndrome (CCS) is a rare disease, the etiology of CCS is currently unknown. Although CCS is widely accepted as a benign disorder, the malignant potential of the polyps in CCS patients is yet controversial.

Patient concerns:

A 55-year-old Chinese male was first admitted to Beijing Friendship Hospital with a 3-month history of frequent watery diarrhea (10–15 times/day), loss of taste, and a weight loss of 10 kg in August 2010. The left heel bone fracture in the patient occurred about 2 weeks prior to his diarrhea.


He was diagnosed as Cronkhite–Canada syndrome.


Oral administration of prednisone was initiated at a dosage of 20 mg/day.


After 3 months of treatment, the clinical manifestations disappeared, and colonoscopy showed sparsely distributed small polyps in the colon. Consequently, the dose of prednisone was reduced to 10mg. However, after 4 months, his fingernails were again found atrophic along with mild abdominal discomfort without diarrhea. Colonoscopy revealed a recurrence of the polyps in March 2011. The treatment was repeated with prednisone at a dosage of 20 mg/day resulting in subsided symptoms. In September 2011, he underwent colonoscopy although no significant clinical manifestations were observed. In addition, the polyp in the sigmoid colon was cancerated.


The present case indicated that the physical stress was related to CCS and malignant transformation occurred in Cronkhite–Canada syndrome polyp. After the diffused inflammatory polyps have responded to steroid therapy, other existing adenomas require endoscopic treatments, which can decrease the possibility of neoplastic transformation.

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