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Sessile serrated adenomas: prevalence of dysplasia and carcinoma in 2139 patients
  1. Richard H Lash,
  2. Robert M Genta,
  3. Christopher M Schuler
  1. Caris Research Institute, Irving, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Richard H Lash, MD, Caris Research Institute, 6655 MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75039, USA; rlash{at}


Background and aims Sessile serrated adenomas (SSAs) are recognised as precursors to microsatellite unstable adenocarcinomas. This study attempts to estimate the progression rate of SSAs based upon the epidemiology of a large cohort as well as identify relationships to other colorectal polyps.

Methods Pathological reports generated at Caris Diagnostics from 290 810 colonoscopic specimens on 179 111 patients were analysed using computerised algorithms.

Results SSAs with or without dysplasia/carcinoma (SSA+/–) were identified in 2416 specimens from 2139 patients (54% women). The distribution of SSA+/– was: right-sided (81.2%); left-sided (11.2%); both right- and left-sided (3.2%); not specified (4.3%). There were 1816 (85%) patients without dysplasia (SSA–), 257 (12%) with low-grade dysplasia (SSA-LD), 45 (2%) with high-grade dysplasia (SSA-HD) and 21 (1%) with adenocarcinoma (SSA-CA). The difference in median age between almost all groups was significant (SSA–=61 years versus SSA-LD=66 years (p<0.001) vs SSA-HD=72 years (p=0.002) vs SSA-CA=76 years (p=0.07, NS)). Women comprised 53% of the SSA– group (968/1816), 57% of the SSA-LD group (147/257), 69% of the SSA-HD group (31/45) and 76% of the SSA-CA group (16/21), being more likely to have high-grade dysplasia (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.03 to 3.67) and adenocarcinoma (OR 2.80, 95% CI 1.02 to 7.68).

Conclusions 1.7% of patients with mucosal polyps had SSAs (with and without dysplasia), more commonly in women and primarily in the right colon. Dysplasia or carcinoma was identified in 15% of patients and significantly disproportionately among women. Based on significant age differences between groups, there appears to be a stepwise progression of dysplasia and carcinoma in SSAs over 10 to 15 years, a period two to three times longer than that for conventional adenomas.

  • Sessile serrated adenoma
  • sessile serrated polyp
  • colonic neoplasms
  • colon
  • neoplasms

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Caris Diagnostics Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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