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Squamous metaplasia of the columnar epithelium in the human cervix

Squamous metaplasia of the columnar epithelium in the human cervix

Jour Path And Bact 52(2): 173-186

In about 40% of adult human cervices there are more or less extensive patches of an atypical multilayered epithelium which combines in its structure some of the characters of both normal types of cervical epithelium[long dash]columnar-celled and squamous. The structure of this aberrant epithelium varies greatly and some of the more characteristic forms are described. All varieties may be regarded as transitional stages in a metaplastic transformation of columnar-celled epithelium into squamous epithelium of vaginal type. This change in structure is accompanied by a parallel alteration in function; the secretion of mucin gradually diminishes and finally the cells begin to accumulate glycogen. Age, reproductive history and diseases of the genital tract have little influence on the incidence of these metaplastic changes. The etiology of the lesion is discussed in the light of data accumulated in the present study and of recent exptl. work on the sex hormones. Both hormonal influences and local environmental factors may be concerned in its development. The possible relationship of aberrant epithelium to cervical cancer is briefly discussed and reasons are given for rejecting the suggestion that the lesion should be regarded as precancerous.

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Accession: 025515476

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DOI: 10.1002/path.1700520203

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