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HSR Research > High grade cervical dysplasia

High grade cervical dysplasia

Patients who have an abnormal Pap smear result may be diagnosed with high grade cervical dysplasia. The term cervical dysplasia signifies the presence of disordered cells on the cervix. Dysplasia is classified as mild, moderate or severe, which depends on the amount and special characteristics of changed cells. Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition and it may lead to cervical cancer without an opportune treatment. Starting from the risk for cancer, mild lesions are considered as low grade dysplasia, while moderate and severe lesions are classified as a high grade dysplasia. 

If one third of squamous epithelium thickness is affected by abnormal changes, low grade cervical dysplasia is diagnosed. When abnormal changes involve one half of the epithelial layer or more, but abnormal cells don't cross the basement membrane, this condition is classified as high grade cervical dysplasia. The disease is called invasive carcinoma or cancer if abnormal cells spread to other layers of the cervix or to other organs. Invasive cancer is the most dangerous condition and very often it is fatal for the patient. 

Scientific researches have found that cervical dysplasia is often caused by Human Papilloma Virus. HPV affects skin and mucosa and may induce cellular changes. A common manifestation of HPV is the presence of benign epithelial growths called warts. At the same time, certain types of HPV are able to trigger low grade and high grade cervical dysplasia which may progress to carcinoma in some cases. For this reason, to assess the probability of cervical cancer it is advisable for women with cervical abnormalities to undergo HPV testing. 

High grade cervical dysplasia is associated with an increased risk of cancer. When a Pap smear is suggestive of high grade cervical dysplasia, it is necessary to confirm this result by biopsy. If the result is confirmed, in some cases high grade lesions need to be treated by cryosurgery, laser therapy, electrosurgical excision or cold knife conisation. Only an experienced specialist can evaluate all risks and all problems of the patient and define an appropriate treatment. 

As compared to high grade cervical dysplasia, low grade dysplasia is more likely to disappear on its own. Patients with a diagnosis of low grade dysplasia should have a repeat Pap smear in 3 or 6 months. If follow-up examination shows that low grade lesions persist, it will be recommended for the patient to undergo additional tests like colposcopy and HPV DNA testing. 

History of sexually transmitted diseases, a high number of deliveries, having sexual contacts with multiple partners, active or passive smoking, weakened immune system, an early first intercourse (at the age of 16 or younger), or abnormal Pap smears are factors of an increased risk for cervical dysplasia and cancer. Women with high grade cervical dysplasia should undergo a closer follow-up if they have a history of these problems.

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Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions

Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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