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- Cervical dysplasia facts
- What is cervical dysplasia?
- What causes cervical dysplasia?
- Are there signs and symptoms of cervical dysplasia?
- How is cervical dysplasia diagnosed?
- How is cervical dysplasia classified?
- What are treatments for cervical dysplasia?
- Carbon dioxide laser photoablation
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
- Cold knife cone biopsy (conization)
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for cervical dysplasia?
- Can cervical dysplasia be prevented?
How is cervical dysplasia classified?
Cytologic analysis (screening tests)
Pap smear reports are based on a medical terminology system called The Bethesda System that was developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland in 1988 and modified in 2001. The major categories for abnormal Pap smears reported in the Bethesda Systems are as follows:
- ASC-US: This abbreviation stands for atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance. The word "squamous" describes the thin, flat cells that lie on the surface of the cervix. One of two choices are added at the end of ASC: ASC-US, which means undetermined significance, or ASC-H, which means cannot exclude HSIL (see below).
- LSIL: This abbreviation stands for low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. This means changes characteristic of mild dysplasia are observed in the cervical cells.
- HSIL: This abbreviation stands for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. And refers to the fact that cells with a severe degree of dysplasia are seen.
Histologic analysis (cervical biopsies)
When precancerous changes are seen in tissue biopsies of the cervix, the term cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is used. "Intraepithelial" refers to the fact that the abnormal cells are present within the lining, or epithelial, tissue of the cervix. "Neoplasia" refers to the abnormal growth of cells.
CIN is classified according to the extent to which the abnormal, or dysplastic, cells are seen in the cervical lining tissue:
- CIN 1 refers to the presence of dysplasia confined to the basal third of the cervical lining, or epithelium (formerly called mild dysplasia). This is considered to be a low-grade lesion.
- CIN 2 is considered to be a high-grade lesion. It refers to dysplastic cellular changes confined to the basal two-thirds of the lining tissue (formerly called moderate dysplasia).
- CIN 3 is also a high grade lesion. It refers to precancerous changes in the cells encompassing greater than two-thirds of the cervical lining thickness, including full-thickness lesions that were formerly referred to as severe dysplasia and carcinoma in situ.