- "Polyp" is a generic morphological term referring to a grossly-visible mass derived from the intestinal mucosa that protrudes into the lumen of the bowel. Polyps may be attached to the bowel wall via a stalk, termed "Pedunculated", or possess no stalk, termed "Sessile". Given their morphological definition, polyps may arise due to a variety of etiologies some of which are non-neoplastic. Here we briefly discuss a variety of non-neoplastic large or small intestine polyps whereas neoplastic polyps of the colon are discussed in colorectal adenoma.
- Highly common in the elderly, hyperplastic polyps represent hyperplasia of the large intestine mucosa and are typically small, less than 5mm in diameter. Histological analysis of hyperplastic polyps shows well-differentiated cells with no dysmorphology or neoplasia.
- Inflammatory polyps do not represent exuberant growth but rather regenerating islands of large intestine mucosa surrounded by ulcerated tissue as observed in Ulcerative Colitis.
- Juvenile Polyps are typically single, isolated hamartomas of the small or large intestine mucosa and are observed in children. Juvenile Polyps tend to be quite large (1-3cm) and pedunculatd with long stalks (up to 2cm).
- Peutz-Jeghers Polyps are quite large hamartomas involving all layers of the small or large intestine mucosa. These polyps can occur anywhere along alimentary tract and are a feature of Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome. Although the polyps themselves have nearly no malignant potential, patients with Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome display a propensity to develop a variety of certain other non-intestinal malignancies.