Increased Prevalence of Advanced Histologic Features in Small and Diminutive Polyps in Patients Undergoing Surveillance and Diagnostic Colonoscopy

Doris H. Toro, Zeyn T. Mirza, Fernando Báez, Ekie G. Vazquez, Juan C. Bird-Caceres, Hiram D. Ortega-Cruz, Naydi Perez-Rios, Marcia Cruz-Correa


Objective: Studies addressing small and diminutive polyps and their potential of harboring advanced histologic features (AH) are scarce in Hispanics. We aimed to determine the prevalence of AH in a cohort of Hispanics. Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of patients who had a colonoscopy from 2005 through 2010. The data collected included demographics, indications, history (personal/family) of colon cancer and/or polyps, and polyp histology. Polyps with high-grade dysplasia, prominent villous component, adenocarcinoma or serrated were classified as having AH. Results: The population comprised 1884 patients, and 3835 polyps were evaluated; 63.3% were diminutive (1–5 mm), 22.7% small (6–9 mm), and 13.9% large (≥10 mm). The prevalence of AH for small and diminutive polyps were 4.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Of the polyps with AH, 11.9% were diminutive and 19.6% small. Small polyps were 5.04 times more likely to harbor AH than were diminutive polyps. Distal rather than proximal polyps were more likely to harbor AH. Furthermore, AH was >7 times more common in small (6–9 mm) polyps identified during diagnostic or surveillance colonoscopies compared to screening colonoscopies. Conclusions: The prevalence of AH was significantly associated with size, location (distal), and procedure indication. Although diminutive polyps (<6 mm) were less likely to harbor AH, the risk for non-Hispanics was higher than previously reported. The “resect and discard” strategy for polyps ≤ 1 cm should be used with caution in ethnically diverse cohorts, as the risk for AH may be higher in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic Whites.


Adenomatous polyps; colorectal cancer; Hispanics

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