INTRODUCTION: Patients with familial adenomatous polyposis develop colorectal cancers if left untreated. As indicated in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, prophylactic colectomy has been recommended even in a milder colonic phenotype referred to as attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis. However, therapeutic strategies in attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis are still controversial. METHODS: We report a patient with attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis who has been treated with sulindac for five years. During the period of observation, she has been carefully followed up by chromoscopic and radiographic surveillance. Immunohistochemical study for cyclooxygenase-2 and genetic analysis in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene was also performed. RESULTS: Continuous administration of sulindac resulted in obvious regression of both colorectal adenomatous polyps and gastric fundic gland polyps, and no cancers developed during the observation period. Immunohistochemical study showed the decrease of cyclooxygenase-2-positive epithelial cells in colorectal polyps by the treatment. The genetic analysis revealed a C to A substitution at nucleotide 481 of her germline adenomatous polyposis coli gene, which resulted in a nonsense mutation at codon 161. CONCLUSIONS: Our case suggests that treatment with sulindac accompanied by intensive colonoscopic surveillance may be a choice of management for attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis.
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