Multiple gastric and duodenal biopsy specimens from 102 asymptomatic patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, taken during a prospective endoscopic screening programme were examined. One hundred patients had microscopic gastroduodenal pathology, often in the absence of macroscopic lesions. Adenomas were found in 94 patients in the duodenum, in the second and third parts. Hyperplasia of villous and crypt epithelium was also seen, sometimes in the absence of adenomas: this may be a precursor of neoplastic change. In the stomach fundic gland polyps were the commonest abnormality, seen microscopically in 44 patients. Chronic antral gastritis was common in patients without fundic polyps. Gastric adenomas were present in six patients, all of whom also had duodenal adenomas. If duodenal adenomas in familial adenomatous polyposis have a similar malignant potential to those in the colorectum sequential endoscopy and biopsy are necessary to detect cancer in these patients.
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