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May 1949


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1949;58(5):708-723. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240030718013

DIFFUSE polypoid disease of the colon, or multiple polyposis by common usage, occurs infrequently. It has been recognized since 1863,1 when the pathologic characteristics were described by Virchow.

The heredofamilial character,2 the diffuse involvement of the colon,3 and the tendency to malignant change in early life make the disease significant.4 The cases may be divided into two major types, as suggested by Erdmann and Morris:

(1) Adult or acquired type, usually occurring in middle or late adult life and characterized by a prolonged history of colitis. There are fewer polyps throughout the colon in this type.

(2) Adolescent (congenital disseminated) type occurring in youth or young adult life. A history of a similar condition may be obtained from other members of the family. The symptoms are recurrent episodes of abdominal discomfort, associated with cramps and bloody diarrhea. The colon is usually diffusely studded with polyps from

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