Background The International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium (IGCLC) consensus guideline advises prophylactic gastrectomy in early adulthood to prevent gastric cancer development in CDH1 germline mutation carriers; psychosocial reasons may postpone gastrectomy. We analyzed the yield of signet-ring cell carcinoma (SRCC) during surveillance gastroscopy in CDH1 mutation carriers. Methods A retrospective analysis on surveillance gastroscopies in CDH1 mutation carriers was performed. The yield of SRCC in both targeted and random biopsies was studied. Endoscopic (biopsy) results were compared with the histopathologic outcomes in gastrectomy specimens. Results 42 CDH1 mutation carriers (18 men; mean age 43, range 20-82 years) underwent 96 surveillance gastroscopies. SRCC lesions were identified on surveillance gastroscopy in 21 patients (50 %), by either targeted biopsies only (n = 11), random biopsies only (n = 3), or both random and targeted biopsies (n = 7). SRCC was detected in 41 /377 targeted biopsies (11 %), whereas random biopsies revealed SRCC in 14/1563 biopsies (0.9 %). At least one SRCC lesion was found in 26 of 30 gastrectomy specimens. In 18 of these 26 specimens (69 %), SRCC had been identified by endoscopic biopsies. Missed lesions were all small superficial SRCC foci, mainly in the body of the stomach. Conclusion In our cohort of CDH1 mutation carriers, SRCC lesions were identified by an extensive endoscopic surveillance protocol in 69 % of SRCC-positive patients who underwent a gastric resection. The low number of SRCC detected through random sampling demands a critical reappraisal of random biopsy sampling in the IGCLC guideline.
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