Gastric Polyps

Gastric polyps are usually found on Endoscopy or X-ray studies. Most of these polyps do not cause symptoms. Some patients may have vague heartburn, abdominal discomfort, nausea, etc. If the polyp is big and locates at certain area, may cause obstruction symptoms, such abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fullness, weight loss, etc.

Types of gastric polyps

The most common polyps in the stomach are:

Fundic Gland Polyp. Fundic gland polyps (FGP), are the most common type of polyps accidentally found by endoscopy in the western world. This type of polyp can be associated with H pylori infection or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), or familial polyposis, etc. Small ones are usually benign. Larger polyps may have risk of cancer.

Adenomatous Polyps. Adenomatous polyps are real neoplasms and the most likely type to become cancer. They are associated with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and inflammation in the stomach, such as gastritis.

Hyperplastic polyps. Hyperplastic polyps mostly come from inflammation in the stomach, such as gastritis. This type of polyps, especially large ones, have a high risk for cancer.

Hamartomatous polyps. Hamartomatous polyps include juvenile polyps, polyps of Peutze Jeghers’ syndrome (PJS), and Cowden’s disease. These types of polyp are rare in the stomach and associated with gene mutations.

Lipoma, Pancreatic Heterotopia, Inflammatory Fibroid Polyps. These are benign polyps and usually have no cancer risk.

Causes and risk factors for gastric polyps

The most common risk factors are:

  • Inflammation in stomach, such as gastritis, H pylori infection, etc.
  • Genetic reason. Such as FAP.
  • Old age. Gastric polyps usually happen in elderly person. However, this is not always the case, such as juvenile polyps, which occur in young people.
  • Smoking. Smoking may increase gastric polyps.
  • Medications. Such medications as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) increase the risk of gastric polyps.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of gastric polyps usually involves one or more of the following tests.

Treatment is depending on the findings from the above tests and patient’s medical conditions. If no gastric cancer is found, it may be involved with one or more of the following modalities:

For advanced learning about gastric polyps, click here.

References:

  1. PubMed Health.
  2. Wikipedia.
  3. Mayo clinic online health information.
  4. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease- by Mark Feldman MD, et al.
  5. The Little Black Book of Gastroenterology-by David W. Hay.
  6. Principles of Clinical Gastroenterology by Tadataka Yamada, et al.


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