Encyclopedia of Cancer

2011 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Aberrant Crypt Foci

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6531

ACF; are  colorectal cancer premalignant lesions, and usually not visible to the naked eye. Luminal openings of aberrant crypts show various shapes, each corresponding to definite histological alterations. Histologically ACF are rather heterogeneous. They may show various alterations, from hypertrophy (only dilated crypt with no cell alteration), to  hyperplasia, to severe  dysplasia. Only a minor fraction (10–30%) of the ACF examined is defined as dysplastic (referred to as microadenomas). Dysplasia may be focal in an aberrant crypt focus, and even in a single aberrant crypt, suggesting that a transition from hyperplasia to dysplasia in aberrant crypts is possible. Dysplasia seems more frequent in larger and in proximal colonic ACF. ACF with dysplasia can be considered true premalignant lesions, whereas for ACF with other histological features the matter is questionable, and the mechanisms and steps of the progression remain unclear. The main points in favor of their premalignat...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011