Background: In patients with juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) the frequency of large genomic deletions in the SMAD4 and BMPR1A genes was unknown.
Methods: Mutation and phenotype analysis was used in 80 unrelated patients of whom 65 met the clinical criteria for JPS (typical JPS) and 15 were suspected to have JPS.
Results: By direct sequencing of the two genes, point mutations were identified in 30 patients (46% of typical JPS). Using MLPA, large genomic deletions were found in 14% of all patients with typical JPS (six deletions in SMAD4 and three deletions in BMPR1A). Mutation analysis of the PTEN gene in the remaining 41 mutation negative cases uncovered a point mutation in two patients (5%). SMAD4 mutation carriers had a significantly higher frequency of gastric polyposis (73%) than did patients with BMPR1A mutations (8%) (p<0.001); all seven cases of gastric cancer occurred in families with SMAD4 mutations. SMAD4 mutation carriers with gastric polyps were significantly older at gastroscopy than those without (p<0.001). In 22% of the 23 unrelated SMAD4 mutation carriers, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) was also diagnosed clinically. The documented histologic findings encompassed a wide distribution of different polyp types, comparable with that described in hereditary mixed polyposis syndromes (HMPS).
Conclusions: Screening for large deletions raised the mutation detection rate to 60% in the 65 patients with typical JPS. A strong genotype-phenotype correlation for gastric polyposis, gastric cancer, and HHT was identified, which should have implications for counselling and surveillance. Histopathological results in hamartomatous polyposis syndromes must be critically interpreted.
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