Topic Completed: 1 April 2017

Minor changes: 23 May 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: metaplasia [title] AND cervix [title]

Related topics: Immature squamous, Squamous, Tuboendometrioid

Jaya Ruth Asirvatham, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Asirvatham JR. Metaplasia. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixmetaplasia.html. Accessed July 8th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Metaplasia is a nonneoplastic transformation of one mature cell type to another mature cell type that is not normally present at that location
  • The most common is squamous metaplasia of endocervical epithelium (mature and immature)
  • Pyloric, intestinal, transitional cell, tuboendometrioid, oxyphil, sebaceous, ectodermal appendage, cartilaginous and osseous metaplasia have been reported
  • Epidermoid metaplasia is very rare; associated with uterine prolapse, prolonged irritation or synthetic steroids (Obstet Gynecol 1974;44:53); histology shows epidermis, sebaceous glands and hair follicles (J Low Genit Tract Dis 2008;12:217)
  • Derived from the Greek words meta (after) and plasma (something formed)
  • Squamocolumnar junction, decubitus ulcer in prolapse, etc.
  • Subcolumnar reserve cells of the endocervical epithelium proliferate, stratify, differentiate and mature into squamous (or ciliated columnar) cells
  • Recently embryonic cells have been discovered at the squamo-columnar junction and a "top-down" pattern of differentiation has recently been described
  • In this model the reserve cells are the progeny of the embryonic cells with different susceptibilities to infection by HPV and implications for neoplastic evolution
  • Trauma, chronic irritation or cervical infection can stimulate repair and metaplasia or the cause can be iatrogenic (cryosurgery etc.)
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

With sebaceous glands

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