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Benign / non-neoplastic lesions

Adenosis of cervix

Reviewer: Farnaz Hasteh, M.D., UCSD Medical Center (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 2 November 2010, last major update November 2010
Copyright: (c) 2006-2010, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Clusters of benign appearing columnar cells in cervix with delicate cytoplasm and variable intracytoplasmic mucin


● Associated with intrauterine DES exposure (usually causes adenosis in vagina, not cervix)
● Vaginal adenosis has been identified in vaginal smears of post-hysterectomy patients, not associated with DES exposure (Eur J Gynaecol Oncol 2000;21:43); may be metaplastic, due to chemotherapy, radiation or Tamoxifen


● Pap smears and colposcopy are useful for follow up to detect adenocarcinoma

Case reports

● 24 year old woman with vaginal stenosis not related to DES successfully treated with simple unipolar cauterization (J Natl Med Assoc 2007;99:166)
● 45 year old woman with primary vaginal adenocarcinoma arising in vaginal adenosis after CO2 laser vaporization and 5-Fluorouracil therapy (Int J Gynecol Pathol 2010;29:193)

Cytology description

● Single or syncytial glandular cells with delicate cytoplasm, columnar shape or intracytoplasmic mucin

Differential diagnosis

Recurrent endometrial adenocarcinoma: glandular cells in vaginal cytology Papanicolaou tests in patients with hysterectomy for endometrial adenocarcinoma (Diagn Cytopathol 2010 Oct 1 [Epub ahead of print])

End of Cervix-cytology > Benign / non-neoplastic lesions > Adenosis of cervix

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