Gut 51:550-555 doi:10.1136/gut.51.4.550
  • Cancer

Flat and depressed colorectal tumours in a southern Swedish population: a prospective chromoendoscopic and histopathological study

  1. S Tsuda1,
  2. B Veress2,
  3. E Tóth3,
  4. F-T Fork3
  1. 1Endoscopy Unit, Department of Radiology, University Hospital Malmö, Sweden, and Department of Gastroenterology, Chikushi Hospital, Fukuoka University, Japan
  2. 2Department of Pathology, University Hospital Malmö, Sweden
  3. 3Endoscopy Unit, Department of Radiology, University Hospital Malmö, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr B Veress, Department of Pathology, University Hospital MAS, 205 02 Malmö, Sweden;
  • Accepted 15 January 2002


Background: Flat and depressed colorectal tumours are common in Japan but are very rare or non-existent in Western countries.

Aims: To study the occurrence of flat colorectal tumours in a southern Swedish population.

Methods: In this prospective study, 371 consecutive European patients were examined by high resolution video colonoscopy combined with chromoendoscopy. The nature of the lesions was determined by histopathological examination.

Results: A total of 973 tumours were found; 907 (93.2%) were protruding and 66 (6.8%) were flat or depressed. Of the flat/depressed tumours, five (7.7%) were early adenocarcinomas infiltrating the submucosa. Eleven carcinomas (1.2%) were found among protruding tumours. High grade dysplasia was observed in 18% (n=11) of flat/depressed adenomas in contrast with 7.3% (n=65) of protruding adenomas, and occurred in smaller flat/depressed tumours compared with protruding ones (mean diameter 8 mm v 23 mm, respectively). Furthermore, high grade dysplasia was significantly more common in flat elevated tumours with central depression or in depressed adenomas (35.7%; 5/14) than in flat elevated adenomas (12.8%; 6/47).

Conclusion: Flat and depressed tumours exist in a Western population. Future studies should address whether or not chromoendoscopy with video colonoscopy is necessary in the search for flat colorectal neoplasms.