Universal Immunohistochemistry for Lynch Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 58,580 Colorectal Carcinomas

Ellis L. Eikenboom, Anne Sophie van der Werf–‘t Lam, Mar Rodríguez-Girondo, Christi J. Van Asperen, Winand N.M. Dinjens, Robert M.W. Hofstra, Monique E. Van Leerdam, Hans Morreau, Manon C.W. Spaander, Anja Wagner, Maartje Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background & Aims: Lynch syndrome is a form of hereditary colorectal cancer (CRC) caused by pathogenic germline variants (PV) in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Currently, many Western countries perform universal immunohistochemistry testing on CRC to increase the identification of Lynch syndrome patients and their relatives. For a clear understanding of health benefits and costs, data on its outcomes are required: proportions of Lynch syndrome, sporadic MMR-deficient (MMRd) cases, and unexplained MMRd cases. Methods: Ovid Medline, Embase, and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched for studies reporting on universal MMR immunohistochemistry, followed by MMR germline analysis, until March 20, 2020. Proportions were calculated, subgroup analyses were performed based on age and diagnostics used, and random effects meta-analyses were conducted. Quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Critical Appraisal Tool for Prevalence Studies. Results: Of 2723 identified articles, 56 studies covering 58,580 CRCs were included. In 6.22% (95% CI, 5.08%–7.61%; I2 = 96%) MMRd was identified. MMR germline PV was present in 2.00% (95% CI, 1.59%–2.50%; I2 = 92%), ranging from 1.80% to 7.27% based on completeness of diagnostics and age restriction. Immunohistochemistry outcomes were missing in 11.81%, and germline testing was performed in 76.30% of eligible patients. In 7 studies, including 6848 CRCs completing all diagnostic stages, germline PV and biallelic somatic MMR inactivation were found in 3.01% and 1.75%, respectively; 0.61% remained unexplained MMRd. Conclusions: Age, completeness, and type of diagnostics affect the percentage of MMR PV and unexplained MMRd percentages. Complete diagnostics explain almost all MMRd CRCs, reducing the amount of subsequent multigene panel testing. This contributes to optimizing testing and surveillance in MMRd CRC patients and relatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e496-e507
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number3
Early online date18 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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