How often are endometrial polyps malignant in asymptomatic postmenopausal women? A multicenter study

Enrico Ferrazzi, Errico Zupi, Francesco P. Leone, Luca Savelli, Umberto Omodei, Massimo Moscarini, Maurizio Barbieri, Giuseppe Cammareri, Giampiero Capobianco, Ettore Cicinelli, Maria E. Coccia, Gloria Donarini, Simona Fiore, Paolo Litta, Mario Sideri, Eugenio Solima, Donata Spazzini, Antonia C. Testa, Massimo Vignali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of cancer and premalignant lesions in polyps on atrophic endometrium in asymptomatic postmenopausal women to compare these findings with a similar cohort of patients with abnormal uterine bleeding. Study Design: One thousand one hundred fifty-two asymptomatic and 770 consecutive postmenopausal women with abnormal uterine bleeding were included in a retrospective multicenter study. Recruited patients underwent hysteroscopic polypectomy based on a sonohysterographic or hysteroscopic diagnosis. The pathologic report was the main outcome measure. Results: One single case of stage 1 grade 1 endometrial carcinoma on a polyp with a mean diameter of 40 mm (0.1%) was observed in asymptomatic women. This prevalence was 10 times lower than in symptomatic patients (P <.0001). The prevalence of atypical hyperplastic polyps was 1.2% in asymptomatic women (2.2% in symptomatic patients; P <.005). At multivariate analysis, polyps' diameter was the only variable significantly associated to an abnormal histology (cancer, polypoid cancer, and atypical hyperplasia) in asymptomatic women (odds ratio for polyps with mean diameter > 18 mm, 6.9; confidence interval, 2.2-21.4). Conclusion: Follow-up and/or treatment of endometrial polyps incidentally diagnosed in asymptomatic postmenopausal patients could be safely restricted to few selected cases based on polyp diameter.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • asymptomatic endometrial polyps
  • endometrial cancer
  • hysteroscopy
  • polypectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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