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Traditional serrated adenoma (TSA): morphological questions, queries and quandaries
  1. Runjan Chetty
  1. Laboratory Medicine Program, Department of Pathology, University Health Network and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr R Chetty, Department of Pathology, 11th floor, Eaton wing, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2C4; Runjan.chetty{at}uhn.ca

Abstract

Aim Traditional serrated adenoma (TSA) is an uncommon type of serrated adenoma that can be a precursor to biologically aggressive colorectal cancer that invokes the serrated (accelerated) pathway. The purpose of this review is to address some of the more contentious issues around nomenclature, diagnostic criteria, histological variants, coexistence with other polyp types, the occurrence of dysplasia and the differential diagnosis.

Results While the vast majority of TSAs are exophytic villiform polyps composed of deeply eosinophilic cells, flat top luminal serrations and numerous ectopic crypt foci, histological variants include flat TSA, filiform TSA and one composed of large numbers of mucin-containing cells. It is unlikely that there is any biological difference between the histological variants. There is a contention that TSAs are not dysplastic ab initio and that the majority do not show cytological atypia. Two types of dysplasia are associated with TSA. Serrated dysplasia is less well recognised and less commonly encountered than adenomatous dysplasia. TSA with dysplasia must be separated from TSA with coexisting conventional adenoma.

Conclusions TSA is a characteristic polyp that may be extremely exophytic, flat or composed of mucin-rich cells and is typified by numerous ectopic crypt foci. They may coexist with other serrated polyps and conventional adenomas. Approximately 20–25% will be accompanied by adenomatous dysplasia.

  • GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASE
  • COLON
  • NEOPLASMS

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