Inflammatory polyps (IPs) in inflammatory bowel disease may have been associated in the past with increased neoplasia risk. Additionally, colonic mucosa in filiform polyposis and giant inflammatory polyposis may be difficult to visualize during endoscopic surveillance, perhaps contributing to early colectomy in these patients.


To examine the clinicopathologic characteristics and significance of IPs and inflammatory polyposis in inflammatory bowel disease.


We identified 336 resections from inflammatory bowel disease patients (212 [63.1%] male; mean age, 40.3 years; 175 [52.1%] with ulcerative colitis), including 78 with rare/few (<10) IPs, 141 with multiple (≥10) IPs, and 117 with inflammatory polyposis (including 30 with filiform polyposis/giant inflammatory polyposis) and compared them with 100 controls without IPs along various parameters, including overall and occult (unexpected) dysplasia.


There was no increased neoplasia in resections with IPs compared with controls, given similar age, disease duration, degree of inflammation, anatomical extent of colitis, prevalence of primary sclerosing cholangitis, and tissue sampling. Increasing numbers of IPs and inflammatory polyposis were significantly associated in multivariate analysis with ulcerative and indeterminate colitis (P = .003) and shorter disease duration (P = .01), but also, and independently, with lower rates of dysplasia overall, including all grades (P = .001) and advanced neoplasia (P = .04). There were no instances of occult dysplasia (any grade) among inflammatory polyposis cases.


These findings support the conclusion that the presence of IPs per se, and inflammatory polyposis in particular (including filiform polyposis and giant inflammatory polyposis), should not be considered an independent risk factor for the development of neoplasia in inflammatory bowel disease patients, outside the context of disease duration and inflammatory burden.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. See text for hyperlink.

Presented in part during the 106th annual meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology; March 8, 2017; San Antonio, Texas.

Supplementary data