South African Journal of Surgery
On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361
IBIROGBA, S. B. et al. The clinical and pathological features of hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome: Report on a South African family. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2008, vol.46, n.3, pp.90-92. ISSN 2078-5151.
BACKGROUD: Hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome is characterised by multiple large-bowel polyps of differing histological types including a mixture of atypical juvenile polyps, hyperplastic polyps and adenomas. Affected individuals are thought to have an increased risk of malignancy, possibly via the juvenile polyposis pathway. METHODS: A 51-year-old woman (with a history of a colectomy for polyps during childhood) presented with rectal bleeding. Endoscopy demonstrated small rectal polyps which were hyperplastic on histology. A family tree was drawn up and the three children of the proband underwent flexible sigmoidoscopy. RESULTS: Endoscopic surveillance of the three children revealed one who had a similar phenotype to the mother. This child underwent colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis. The pathological specimen revealed more than 70 polyps, with a combination of juvenile retention, hyperplastic, adenomatous and inflammatory polyps. A second child had multiple small hyperplastic polyps, and the third had a normal colon. Although the gene locus for the disorder has been mapped, neither the gene nor the disease-causing mutation has been defined. CONCLUSION: A rare inherited polyposis syndrome has been identified in a South African family. Where clinical suspicion of a possible inherited condition exists, investigating at-risk first-degree relatives confirms the inherited nature of the disease. It is possible to use genetic haplotyping (i.e. with a range of markers in the area of the gene) to provide statistical risk to immediate relatives and therefore those at highest risk.