Polyps: Clinical Decision Tool

The best approach to polyps from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force: Gastroenterology 2014; 146: 305-306.  This paper’s simple chart on page 306 could help reduce many follow-up colonoscopies that are performed at shorter than recommended intervals.

Polyp Guideline

Related blog post:  Consensus guidelines after polypectomy | gutsandgrowth)

Consensus guidelines after polypectomy

The US Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) on colorectal cancer has updated their recommendations and provided an update on the literature as well (Gastroenterol 2012; 143: 844-57).

Their recommendations are summarized in Table 1 of this article.  In brief, repeat colonoscopy is recommended at the following interval:

  • 10 years –If no polyps or small (<10 mm) hyperplastic polyps in rectum/sigmoid
  • 5-10 years –if 1-2 small (<10 mm) tubular adenomas
  • 3 years –if 3-10 tubular adenomas or if adenoma with high-grade dysplasia
  • ❤ years –if >10 adenomas
  • 1 year  –if serrated polyposis syndrome

Other important points include the recommendation of adopting split-dose bowel preparations and avoiding interval fecal testing within 5 years after colonoscopy.  If the bowel preparation is poor, the MSTF recommends that in most cases colonoscopy should be repeated within 1 year.  Newer techniques like chromoendoscopy, narrow band imaging, and magnification endoscopy have not been adequately studied to recommend them as part of  a surveillance strategy.

Related blog entries:

Colonoscopy, Split-dosing bowel preps, and Ottawa scores

Aspirin prophylaxis for colorectal cancer?

Additional references:

  • -Gastroenterol 2010; 138: 73, 27 (ed). Overutilization of colon screening in low risk situations and underutilization in high risk situations in clinical practice.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2010; 8: 795. Juvenile Polyps. Describes frequent rate of recurrence (3 of 18 among single polyps) & 45% overall. n=257. 39% with at least 2 polyps. Among those with multiple polyps, 7 had mutations in either SMAD4 (mothers against decpentaplegic drosophilia), BMPR1A (bone morphogenetic protein), or PTEN (phosphatase & tensin homolog). Their recs: recheck with scope in 1-3 years depending on polyp burden and presence of dysplasia.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2009; 7: 1217. Fewer polyps detected as day progresses at a VA hospital n=477 pts. 27% decline in polyp detection.
  • -NEJM 2009; 361: 1179. Review of screening for colorectal cancer.
  • -Gastroenterol 2009; 137: 792. Use of CT colonography -current appraisal.
  • -Ann Intern Med 2009; 150: 1-8. Says endoscopists miss most cancers on right side & colonosopy reduces cancer by ~60% primarily due to left-sided cancers.  Most, 73%, of colonoscopies not done by GI/colorectal surgery.
  • -Gastroenterol 2008; 134: 1570. Update recommendations from ACS, ACR, US Multi-society task force.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2005; 3: 633.  Inherited polyposis syndromes & genetic testing.
  • -Clin Perspectives in Gastro 2002; 5: 329.  Polyp techniques & complications. If entrapped snare, consider cutting off snare handle & pulling on 1 wire. Alternative us to use snare as guidewire & push scope beyond wire. For large stalks, consider using snare as tourniquet for 5 min. Consider pure (or blended) coagulation at settings 20-30W.
    Injection of fluid into the submucosa beneath the polyp increases the distance between the polyp and the deeper layers of the colon. Using a sclerotherapy needle normal saline is injected at the edge of the polyp raising a bleb. No specific volume of normal saline is used. The objective is to raise a large bleb with marked elevation of the polyp. The snare is then placed around the base of the polyp and it can be removed with electrocautery. If bleeding is a consideration then a solution of epinephrine can be used at a 1:10,000 concentration. The advantage of cautery is that residual tissue is usually destroyed although this is usually not a consideration when removing juvenile polyps.Hot biopsy forceps are usually used to ablate diminutive polyps (< 5 mm in diameter). The coagulation current applied should be low. 10-15 watts applied for 1-2 seconds. The technique is generally safe but serious complications including bleeding or perforation have been reported.The cold snare technique is safe in small polyps. (< 5 mm) The rationale is that the vessels feeding the polyp are small and the risk of bleeding is low. The advantage is that without cautery there is not deep tissue damage. Submucosal injection may make the procedure safer.