The Seeds of Doubt: Finding Seeds in Intriguing Places

Federica Grillo, Michela Campora, Laura Cornara, Alberta Cascini, Simona Pigozzi, Paola Migliora, Francesca Sarocchi, Luca Mastracci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Seeds may be found in gastrointestinal tissue samples, and their multifaceted appearance may be challenging. The aim is to report a rough incidence of pathology samples which show seeds, specify the most frequent sample types and show an iconography of the most commonly identified seeds. Materials and Methods: Between 2017 and 2020, all gastrointestinal pathology cases in which seeds/seed parts were found, were collected and seed type described by referencing a seed image library. Results: Fifty cases with complete seeds/seed parts were collected: 16 colonic resections for colorectal cancer and diverticulosis, 13 appendiceal resections for appendicitis, 1 gastric resection. Fifteen cases were found in polypectomy specimens and 5 cases in colorectal endoscopic biopsies. Most frequent seed types were tomato, kiwi, blueberry, and blackberry seeds. Conclusion: Seeds may be found in up to 4% of specimens; their recognition may be useful to exclude parasitic infections as well as in forensic sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655113
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2021


  • appendicitis
  • diverticular disease
  • endoscopic biopsy
  • gastrointestinal pathology
  • polipectomy
  • seeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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