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Redefining Early Cervical Neoplasia: Recent Progress

Nucci, Marisa R. MD; Crum, Christopher P. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: January 2007 - Volume 14 - Issue 1 - p 1-10
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e31802e0de7
Review Articles

The classification of cervical precancers has evolved over the past 40 years as knowledge concerning the pathogenesis of these human papillomavirus-related lesions has expanded. This commentary reviews the current classification scheme in light of (1) the historical classification systems and (2) the ability of the target epithelium, that is the transformation zone to exhibit varied morphology depending on the cell type that is infected with human papillomavirus. The evolution in our understanding of preinvasive glandular neoplasia is also summarized, with particular attention to so-called superficial (or early) adenocarcinoma in situ. In addition, practical issues in the diagnosis and management of squamous epithelial lesions, particularly the recognition of nonconventional variants and the application of biomarkers, are discussed.

Division of Women's and Perinatal Pathology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Reprints: Marisa R. Nucci, MD, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02445 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.