Zorzi M, Battagello J, Amidei CB, Antonelli G, Germanà B, Valiante F, Benvenuti S, Tringali A, Bortoluzzi F, Cervellin E, Giacomin D, Meggiato T, Rizzotto ER, Fregonese D, Dinca M, Baldassarre G, Scalon P, Pantalena M, Milan L, Bulighin G, Di Piramo D, Azzurro M, Gabbrielli A, Repici A, Rugge M; Veneto Screening Endoscopists Working Group; Hassan C.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2024 Feb 5:S1542-3565(24)00105-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2024.01.027.


Background: Post-fecal immunochemical test (FIT) colonoscopy represents a setting with an enriched prevalence of advanced adenomas. Due to an expected higher risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), postpolypectomy surveillance is recommended, generating a substantially increased load on endoscopy services. The aim of our study was to investigate postpolypectomy CRC risk in a screening population of FIT+ subjects after resection of low-risk adenomas (LRAs) or high-risk adenomas (HRAs).

Methods: We retrieved data from a cohort of patients undergoing postpolypectomy surveillance within a FIT-based CRC screening program in Italy between 2002 and 2017 and followed-up to December 2021. Main outcomes were postpolypectomy CRC incidence and mortality risks according to type of adenoma (LRA/HRA) removed at colonoscopy as well as morphology, size, dysplasia, and location of the index lesion. We adopted as comparators FIT+/colonoscopy-negative and FIT- patients. The absolute risk was calculated as the number of incident CRCs per 100,000 person-years of follow-up. We used Cox multivariable regression models to identify associations between CRC risks and patient- and polyp-related variables.

Results: Overall, we included 87,248 post-FIT+ colonoscopies (133 endoscopists). Of these, 42,899 (49.2%) were negative, 21,650 (24.8%) had an LRA, and 22,709 (26.0%) an HRA. After a median follow-up of 7.25 years, a total of 635 CRCs were observed. For patients with LRAs, CRC incidence (hazard ratio [HR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92-1.53) was not increased compared with the FIT+/colonoscopy-negative group, while for HRAs a significant increase in CRC incidence (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.14-2.04) was found. The presence of 1 or more risk factors among proximal location, nonpedunculated morphology, and high-grade dysplasia explained most of this excess CRC risk in the HRA group (HR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.36-2.52). Patients with only distal pedunculated polyps without high-grade dysplasia, representing 39.2% of HRA, did not have increased risk compared with the FIT- group (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.59-1.28).

Conclusions: CRC incidence is significantly higher in patients with HRAs diagnosed at colonoscopy. However, such excess risk does not appear to apply to patients with only distal pedunculated polyps without high-grade dysplasia, an observation that could potentially reduce the burden of surveillance in FIT programs.

Pubmed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38325601/