What is a juvenile polyp? An analysis based on 21 patients with solitary and multiple polyps

Cheryl M. Coffin, Louis P. Dehner

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Background.-Juvenile polyps, the most common pediatric gastrointestinal polyp, have been typically characterized as either hamartomatous overgrowths or reactive inflammatory proliferations. Recent observations of excessive colonic and gastric carcinoma and dysplasia in juvenile polyposis have prompted reclassification of this entity as a premalignant condition. The relationship between solitary or multiple juvenile polyps and malignancy is less clear. Patients and Methods.-To further investigate the frequency and significance of dysplasia in juvenile polyps, we analyzed 28 polyps from 21 patients histologically and immunohistochemically for substances previously associated with neoplastic transformation in the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Results.-Fifteen patients had a solitary polyp, two had 2 to 9 polyps, and four had polyposis with 10 or more polyps. Most polyps exhibited inflammatory or regenerative atypia. Foci of dysplasia were noted in polyps from 11 patients, and immunoreactivity for p53 and human chorionic gonadotropin was present in 12 of the 28 polyps each. These findings were all more frequent in the polyposis specimens than in solitary polyps. Conclusions.-These observations, in combination with reports of an increased risk of carcinoma in juvenile polyposis, suggest that juvenile polyps are lesions with a potential for neoplastic and malignant transformation, although they share features of an inflammatory reactive process. The implications for clinical management of patients and pathologic evaluation of juvenile polyps warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1038
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996

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