Cervix

General

WHO classification


Editorial Board Member: Gulisa Turashvili, M.D., Ph.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer A. Bennett, M.D.
Carlos Parra-Herran, M.D.

Topic Completed: 28 May 2021

Minor changes: 28 May 2021

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PubMed Search: WHO classification[TIAB] cervix[TIAB]

Carlos Parra-Herran, M.D.
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Cite this page: Parra-Herran C. WHO classification. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixWHO.html. Accessed November 29th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • The classification below is the updated classification of tumors of the cervix as per the World Health Organization classification of tumors of female reproductive organs, 5th edition (2020)
Major updates
  • Squamous lesions:
    • Invasive squamous lesions are now classified in 2 main categories: HPV associated and HPV independent
    • HPV independent squamous cell carcinomas are rare but their existence is now acknowledged as they may behave more aggressively than the more common HPV associated lesions
  • Glandular lesions:
    • Both preinvasive and invasive glandular lesions are now classified in 2 main categories: HPV associated and HPV independent
    • HPV associated adenocarcinomas can be classified using terminology from previous classification; however, they need to be distinguished, as a group, from HPV independent tumors
    • HPV independent adenocarcinomas are most frequently of the gastric type (with both in situ and invasive forms)
    • Other distinct types include clear cell and mesonephric carcinomas
WHO (2020)
Squamous epithelial tumors
Glandular tumors and precursors
Board review style question #1
According to the latest classification of female genital tumors from the World Health Organization, which is currently a major category in the classification of squamous cell lesions?

  1. Squamous cell carcinoma, HPV associated
  2. Basaloid carcinoma
  3. Ectopic prostatic tissue
  4. Keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma
  5. Adenosquamous carcinoma
Board review style answer #1
A. Squamous cell carcinoma, HPV associated. Squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix is now classified as HPV associated and HPV independent. Basaloid and keratinizing are morphologic variants of squamous cell carcinoma but do not represent diagnostic categories. Ectopic prostatic tissue belongs to the category of benign glandular lesions and adenosquamous carcinoma belongs to the category of mixed epithelial tumors.

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Reference: Cervix - WHO classification
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