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BACKGROUND: Post-inflammatory polyps >15 mm in diameter or length are termed "giant". This benign and rare sequel of ulcerative colitis or colonic Crohn's disease can mimic colorectal carcinoma. OBJECTIVE: To illustrate this rare complication of inflammatory bowel disease and outline the characteristic radiological, endoscopic and histopathological features, by reviewing all previously published cases of giant post-inflammatory polyps in the English literature. RESULTS: Reports of 81 giant post-inflammatory polyps in 78 patients were identified by systematic review of the literature. The incidence of giant post-inflammatory polyps is related to the extent of ulcerative colitis (incidence: 0%, 30%, and 70%, in proctitis, left-sided, and extensive disease, respectively). These lesions are typically located in the transverse or descending colon. Giant post-inflammatory polyps are as common in Crohn's disease (n=36) as in ulcerative colitis (n=42, 54%). Clinical presentations varies, including pain (n=29), rectal bleeding (n=20), diarrhoea (n=19), luminal obstruction (n=15), or a palpable mass (n=11). Symptomatic presentation results in surgical resection. Clinical details and outcomes are comprehensively tabulated. CONCLUSION: Recognition of this rare entity will prevent unnecessary radical surgical resection for presumed carcinoma. It highlights the need for clinical, radiological, endoscopic and histopathological correlation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Crohns Colitis

Publication Date





170 - 180