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Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

(Peutz-Jegher's Syndrome)


Anthony Villano

, MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Reviewed/Revised Oct 2023
Topic Resources

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is an autosomal dominant disease with multiple hamartomatous polyps in the stomach, small bowel, and colon along with distinctive pigmented skin lesions.

The skin lesions are melanotic macules of the skin and mucous membranes, especially of the perioral region, lips and gums, hands, and feet. All but the buccal lesions tend to fade by puberty. Polyps may bleed and often cause obstruction or intussusception.

Diagnosis of Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

  • Clinical evaluation

Diagnosis of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is suggested by the clinical picture.

Patients with perioral or buccal pigmentation and/or ≥ 2 GI hamartomatous polyps or a family history of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome should be evaluated for this syndrome including testing for STK11 mutations (see also the American College of Gastroenterology's 2015 clinical guidelines about genetic testing and management of hereditary GI cancer syndromes).

GI Cancer Surveillance

GI cancer surveillance of patients with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome includes colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, and video capsule endoscopy beginning at age 8, with the timing of subsequent surveillance determined by the findings. Colonic polyps > 1 cm typically are removed.

Surveillance for breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancer should include breast self-examination starting at age 18 and then should include annual pelvic examination, pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound, Papanicolaou (Pap) test, and breast MRI and/or mammogram starting at age 25.

Surveillance of the testes (for Sertoli cell tumor) by testicular examination should be done annually from birth to adolescence; ultrasonography should be done if abnormalities are palpated or if feminization occurs.

Although patients with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome are at increased risk of lung cancer, no specific screening is recommended but should be considered if patients smoke.

First-degree relatives should be evaluated for skin lesions of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

More Information

The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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