Epithelial repair of the uterine cervix: assessment of morphologic features and correlations with cytologic diagnosis.
This study evaluates the morphologic features of squamous epithelial repair of the uterine cervix, a condition describing a state of regeneration, and compares them with the features of its two histologic mimics, squamous metaplasia and mild dysplasia. The materials examined were from 20 patients with a histologic diagnosis of repair, 42 with cervical biopsy specimens of acceptable quality obtained within 3 weeks of a cervical smear showing repair, and 20 each with squamous metaplasia or mild dysplasia. Specimens with repair disclosed distinctive morphologic characteristics. On low-power magnification, the stroma was chronically inflamed (100%), often floridly (55%). The nuclei were uniform with absent or minimal pleomorphism (90%). The chromatin was bland and evenly distributed (70%). Nucleoli of a bull's eye or macronucleolar appearance (45%) were easily found. Mildly dysplastic epithelium, unlike reparative epithelium, was infrequently associated with an intensely inflamed stroma (20%); its nuclei were pleomorphic (100%) and commonly displayed coarse chromatin (75%) and mitoses (60%). Metaplastic epithelium ws also infrequently associated with an intensely inflamed stroma (10%). Nuclear pleomorphism (10%) and mitotic figures were infrequent (10%), never atypical (0%), and always basally located. Most nuclei had nucleoli, but the majority were small (80%). This study indicates that most cases of repair, mild dysplasia, and metaplasia can be readily distinguished, although due to overlapping features, some cases are difficult to classify as shown by interobserver variability.
Yelverton, CL; Bentley, RC; Olenick, S; Krigman, HR; Johnston, WW; Robboy, SJ
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