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Influence of SCENIC recommendations on terminology used for histopathologic diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease-associated dysplasia



Published in 2015, the International Consensus Recommendations on Surveillance for Colorectal Endoscopic Neoplasia Detection and Management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients (SCENIC) recommended abandoning the use of diagnostic term "dysplasia-associated lesion or mass (DALM)" for polypoid dysplastic lesions detected in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to investigate whether this recommendation had any influence on diagnostic terminologies used by pathologists in their practice.


We retrospectively reviewed all pathology reports for surveillance colonoscopic biopsies from ulcerative colitis (UC) patients in our institution during 1/2012-12/2014 (pre-SCENIC) and 1/2016-12/2018 (post-SCENIC). These included 1203 biopsies from 901 UC patients during the pre-SCENIC period and 1273 biopsies from 977 UC patients during the post-SCENIC period. Their corresponding endoscopic findings and histopathologic diagnoses were recorded. Clinical indications for total colectomy for UC patients and corresponding histopathologic findings in colectomy specimens were also recorded and compared.


A total of 347 and 419 polyps/polypoid lesions were identified during the pre-SCENIC and post-SCENIC periods, among which 60 and 104 were dysplastic/adenomatous, respectively. More polypoid dysplastic lesions were simply diagnosed as "adenoma" during the post-SCENIC period in comparison with the pre-SCENIC period (97.1% vs 65.0%; P < 0.001). The number of cases with a comment in pathology reports regarding the distinction between DALM and sporadic adenoma was also significantly decreased during the post-SCENIC period (5.8% vs 38.3%; P < 0.001). In addition, the term "dysplasia" was more consistently used for random biopsies during the post-SCENIC period. Furthermore, the terms "sessile serrated adenoma/polyp" (SSA/P) and "serrated epithelial change" (SEC) were more consistently used for polypoid lesions and random biopsies, respectively, during the post-SCENIC period, although these were not specifically addressed in the SCENIC recommendations. The indications for colectomy remained unchanged, however, despite the standardization of diagnostic terminologies.


The SCENIC recommendations relieve pathologists from the burden of distinguishing DALM from sporadic adenoma in IBD patients, which helps the standardization of diagnostic terminologies used by pathologists. The consistent use of the diagnostic terminologies may help reduce potential confusions to clinicians and patients.

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