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Tubal metaplasia of the endocervix

Keywords: Ciliated columnar endocervical cells, cytobrush sampling, tubal metaplasia.

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Abstract:

Metaplasia is a reversible reprogramming of stem cells of the epithelium. Usually, squamous metaplasia is observed in the endocervix. However, less frequently, tubal metaplasia may develop, replacing nonciliated columnar cells by ciliated columnar cells, similar to fallopian tube epithelium. Here we present a case of tubal metaplasia of the endocervical canal. A 40 year-old female presented with postcoital bleeding; her uterus was retroverted, normal-sized and the fornices were free. Erosion was seen around the external os with ulceration. The clinical diagnosis was chronic cervicitis. Cytobrush sampling showed abundant endocervical columnar cells. A distinct morphological variation showing apical ciliary plates with distinct cilia were noticed in many columnar cells. Mucoid, neutrophil-rich secretions were seen in the background but no malignant cells were seen, resulting in a diagnosis of tubal metaplasia of the endocervical epithelium. There was no Trichomonas vaginalis infection. Tubal metaplasia should be identified as a unique benign identity and should not be confused with early endocervical glandular neoplasia of the cervix. Cytobrush technique for endocervical smears helps detect such uncommon metaplastic changes.

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