Diffuse polyposis of the colon of the hereditary type is a distinct disease entity to be clearly differentiated from the postinflammatory type of polyposis, which it resembles in some respects. It is characterized by the presence of multiple, sessile or pedunculated polyps occurring throughout the large bowel and in extreme cases so numerous as almost to replace the normal mucosa. Microscopically the polyps show an adenomatous structure associated with hyperplasia of the lymph follicles and infiltration of the tumor and surrounding tissues with lymphocytes and plasma cells. Ultimately malignant degeneration almost invariably occurs in one or more polyps.
It is not a common disease, for only approximately 200 cases were to be found in the literature in 1938. Its hereditary character has been recognized only during the last twenty years. By carefully questioning one can usually uncover, in members of the family of affected persons, the presence either of the
VANZANT BT. ROENTGEN THERAPY IN HEREDITARY DIFFUSE POLYPOSIS OF THE COLON. JAMA. 1942;118(11):875–878. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830110017006