Pagetoid dyskeratosis of the cervix: An incidental histologic finding in uterine prolapse
Pagetoid dyskeratosis, is considered a reactive process in which a small part of the normal population of keratinocytes is induced to proliferate. The lesion is characterized by pale cells resembling those of Paget's disease within the epidermis. These cells have been seen as an incidental finding in a variety of benign papules most commonly located in intertriginous areas. Among the inductors of the lesion, friction is suspected. To the best of our knowledge, these pale cells have not been reported in the cervix. We describe the location of the lesion in the ectocervix and the incidence of this lesion in a group of 100 unselected patients surgically treated for uterine prolapse. Another group of 100 unselected patients treated for uterine leiomyoma was used as a control. Pagetoid dyskeratosis was found in 37 cases (37%) of uterine prolapse and in five cases (5%) of uterine leiomyomas. The lesion is more common in uterine prolapse (p <0.001) and is not significantly associated with cornification of the epithelium (p = 0.72343). The cells of pagetoid dyskeratosis show an immunohistochemical profile different from the surrounding squamous cells characterized by premature keratinization. Pagetoid dyskeratosis cells have shown positivity for high molecular weight cytokeratin and negative reaction for low molecular weight cytokeratin, epithelial membrane antigen, carcinoembryonic antigen, and human papilloma virus. Pagetoid dyskeratosis cells must be distinguished from artefactual clear cells, glycogen-rich cells, koilocytes, extramammary Paget's disease cells, and pagetoid spread of carcinoma cells to the cervix. In cases in which pagetoid dyskeratosis shows a florid expression, there is a hazard of overdiagnosis. The pathologist should be aware of the histologic features of pagetoid dyskeratosis in the ectocervix to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment. Routine histologic study is usually sufficient to identify the lesion.