J Clin Pathol 66:403-408 doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-201192
  • Original article

The stem cell marker CD133 is highly expressed in sessile serrated adenoma and its borderline variant compared with hyperplastic polyp

  1. Susanne Holck3
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Hospital South, Naestved, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Research Center, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mahin Mohammadi, Department of Pathology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Kettegård Alle 30, Hvidovre 2650, Denmark; Mahin.mohammadi{at}
  • Received 7 September 2012
  • Revised 11 January 2013
  • Accepted 23 January 2013
  • Published Online First 22 February 2013


Non-dysplastic serrated polyps (ND-SP) represent a heterogeneous group of colorectal lesions that comprise hyperplastic polyp (HP) and the non-dysplastic subset of sessile serrated adenoma/polyp/lesion (SSA/P/L) and its borderline variant (BSSA/P/L). Given the observer variation in their histological typing, the identification of reliable markers that assist in the characterisation is warranted. Most important is the identification of polyp qualities that may reflect the patients’ risk of developing colorectal cancer. To address these issues, CD133 may represent a potential adjunct. Here we studied the discriminatory value of CD133 expression in the classification of ND-SPs and its distribution pattern in relation to synchronous colorectal carcinoma (SCRC). 39 SSA/P/Ls, 27 BSSA/P/Ls and 21 matched HPs were immunostained for CD133. The data were further correlated to the presence of SCRC and to polyp site and size. Ignoring SCRC status, CD133 was expressed more prominently in SSA/P/Ls than in HPs. The values for BSSA/P/Ls fell in between, yet closer to the SSA/P/L scorings. This observation was retained in the context of SCRC and for SSA/P/Ls not associated with SCRC. Right-sidedness and large size of the polyps more commonly associated with increased CD133 expression. CD133 expression was not a significant discriminator as to the SCRC status. BSSA/P/Ls are more closely aligned to SSA/P/L and further that SSA/P/L and BSSA/P/Ls fundamentally differ from HP by their CD133 immunoprofile, a notion that can be exploited in the diagnostic routine practice. Recorded data further indirectly support the idea that SSA/P/Ls are more prone to neoplastic progression than are HPs.