Gross assessment of colonic abnormalities with particular focus on diverticular disease and polyps: an autopsy study

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Blanchard, Audrey-Ann Marie
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I-Abstract I.1-Objectives- To grossly evaluate colonic abnormalities within the Manitoba population by determining prevalence according to; age, gender, body mass index, body weight, body length, colon length, and fecal weight. I.2-Methods- A population study of 67 medico-legal autopsies from two major teaching hospitals was performed, examining the colon for abnormalities. The colon was resected just proximal to the ileocecal valve and just distal to the recto-sigmoid junction. Once the specimen was detached it was weighed with the autopsy scale opened and the feces removed. The specimen was patted dry and re-weighed. The specimen was laid on a blue specimen photograph board where the length was measured from the cecum to terminal sigmoid/rectum and photographed digitally. The specimen was then evaluated for any abnormalities. The specimen was then placed back into the body. I.3-Results Of the 67 colons assessed, 66% had an abnormality, of which 37.3% had diverticular disease and 24% had polyps, the two most common diseases. Age was the only significant factor (p=0.004) in this study affecting prevalence. The prevalence of multiple polyps was 63% with colon length being the only significant factor (p=0.0265) in this study affecting prevalence. I.4-Conclusions A progressive risk of increased abnormality formation is noted with age. Diverticular disease and polyps have similar prediction factors and disease prevalence. Many factors are suggested in the literature to influence the prediction of abnormalities, however only age was determined to be significant in this study. Multiplicity of polyps in the colon is significantly related to colon length.
colon, diverticular disease, polyps