OBJECTIVE: Gastric polyps are recognized as either an incidental finding on routine gastroscopy or a frequent occurrence in patients with polyposis syndromes. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence, clinical presentation, and histological subclassification of gastric polyps identified on esophagogastroduodenoscopy in pediatric patients. METHODS: We performed an 18-yr retrospective study of all pediatric (<21 yr) patients with gastric polyps diagnosed between 1983 and 2000 at The Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The histology slides were all evaluated at the time of the study according to the accepted histological classification of gastric polyps. RESULTS: Gastric polyps were reported in 40 procedures (0.07%) performed in 35 (male:female 1.3:1) patients with a mean (SEM) age at diagnosis of 14.4 (0.9) yr. Polyps were more frequent in white than in black patients (adjusted ratio 1.4:1). The histological subtypes included hyperplastic-inflammatory (42%), fundic gland (40%), hamartomatous (10%), adenomatous (5%), and heterotopic polyps (3%). Fundic gland polyps were frequently encountered in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (81%). These patients tended to be asymptomatic at the time of their surveillance esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and frequently harbored histological changes of either dysplasia (31%) or indeterminate of dysplasia (19%). CONCLUSIONS: Hyperplastic polyps are the most frequently identified gastric polyps in our pediatric population. Fundic gland polyps are common in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis wherein they tend to harbor histological changes of dysplasia. Future longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the temporal progression of dysplasia to gastric cancer in patients with fundic gland polyps, and to establish esophagogastroduodenoscopy surveillance guidelines.
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