Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 11, pp 2757–2764 | Cite as

Advanced Colorectal Adenomas in Patients Under 45 Years of Age Are Mostly Sporadic

  • Vladimir M. Kushnir
  • ILKe Nalbantoglu
  • Rao Watson
  • Jonathan Goodwin
  • Elyas Safar
  • Reena V. Chokshi
  • Riad R. Azar
  • Nicholas O. Davidson
Original Article



The presence of advanced adenomas in younger individuals is a criterion for Lynch syndrome (LS). However, the utility of screening advanced adenomas for loss of mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression to identify suspected LS remains unclear.


Determine the prevalence of MMR defects to understand whether these patients harbor a defined genetic risk for CRC.


The study cohort included adult patients ≤45 years of age with advanced adenomas (villous histology, ≥1 cm in diameter, ≥3 polyps of any size) endoscopically removed between 2001 and 2011. Clinical records were reviewed along with detailed pathological review and immunohistochemical MMR analysis.


A total of 76 (40.1 % male, age 40.6 ± 5.4 years) patients met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Indications for colonoscopy were gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding 39 (51.3 %), CRC in a first-degree relative 17 (22.4 %) and somatic GI symptoms 20 (26.3 %). Index colonoscopy revealed a median of 1 adenoma (range 1–4), mean diameter of 12.9 ± 7.1 mm, 40 (52.6 %) with villous histology. The mean follow-up duration was 3.3 ± 2 years. Recurrent adenomas developed in 24 (31.6 %), of which 8 (10.5 %) were advanced adenomas; none of these patients developed CRC. One of 66 (1.5 %) adenomas available for immunohistochemical (IHC) testing revealed loss of MLH1 and PMS2.


IHC screening of advanced adenomas from patients younger than 45 years of age identified potential LS in one of 64 patients. The low yield of IHC screening in this population suggests that universal IHC screening of advanced adenomas from patients younger than 45 years of age for MMR defects is not an efficient strategy for identifying LS subjects.


Colonoscopy Colonic polyps Colorectal Neoplasms Hereditary Nonpolyposis Microsatellite Instability Immunohistochemistry 



Supported in part by (NIHMS320979) (VMK) and Grants DK-52574, DK-56260 and HL-38180 to (NOD). This work was also supported by funding from the Buehrle Family fund and the Gale Family fund for colorectal cancer research.

Conflict of interests



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir M. Kushnir
    • 1
  • ILKe Nalbantoglu
    • 2
  • Rao Watson
    • 2
  • Jonathan Goodwin
    • 1
  • Elyas Safar
    • 1
  • Reena V. Chokshi
    • 1
  • Riad R. Azar
    • 1
  • Nicholas O. Davidson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologyWashington University School of MedicineSt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyWashington University School of MedicineSt LouisUSA

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