Clinical characteristics of symptomatic young patients with colonic adenomas

Authors Mario El Hayek, Fadi F. Francis, Fadi H. Mourad, Martine Elbejjani, Kassem Barada, Jana G. Hashash.


Background The incidence of colonic adenomas and colorectal cancer has been on the rise among young patients. In this study, we aimed to describe the characteristics of young patients (<50 years) with adenomatous polyps and to characterize those polyps. We also aimed to determine appropriate surveillance intervals for young patients.

Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of patients <50 years of age who had polypectomy of 1 or more adenomatous polyps on colonoscopy between 2008 and 2021. Patient demographics, colonoscopy indication and polyp characteristics were obtained from the chart. Timing and findings on surveillance colonoscopies were recorded.

Results A total of 610 patients were included: mean age 42.9±5.9 years, 61% males, body mass index 27.5±4.7 kg/m2, and over 50% smokers. The most common indications were abdominal pain (23.3%), rectal bleeding (22.3%), and change in bowel habits (17.6%). Almost half of the patients who had adenomas (299) were younger than 45 years. Tubular adenoma was the most frequently encountered type of polyp (571; 93.6%). Mean polyp size was 1.1±0.9 cm. The most common location of adenomas was the sigmoid colon (41%). Of patients with adenomas, 156 (26%) had surveillance colonoscopy within 2.9±2.3 years; 74 patients (47.4%) were found to have new adenomas.

Conclusions Patients aged <50 years with colonic adenomas were mostly males, overweight, and smokers. Further adenomas were found in 47% of surveillance colonoscopies, and most were encountered within 5 years. High rates of recurrent adenomas in people ˂50 years of age may warrant frequent surveillance.

Keywords Colon adenoma, young patients, tubular adenoma

Ann Gastroenterol 2024; 37 (3): 341-347

Original Articles