Pathology dictionary

What are intercellular bridges?

Intercellular bridges are very small connections between special cells called squamous cells. These connections can only be seen when the cells are examined under a microscope. Pathologists look for intercellular bridges when trying to decide if a cell is a squamous cell.

The outer surface of the skin is made up of squamous cells. Other parts of the body made up of squamous cells include the inside of the mouth, the esophagus, large airways leading to the lungs, anal canal, and cervix.

Cancers that start from squamous cells are called squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer can start anywhere in the body where squamous cells are normally found. The most common locations include the skin, mouth, lungs, and cervix. Finding intercellular bridges in a cancer makes it more likely that the cancer is a type of squamous cell carcinoma.

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