High grade dysplasia

The Pathology Dictionary Team
February 21, 2023

What does high grade dysplasia mean?

High grade dysplasia is an abnormal pattern of growth that can turn into cancer over time. This change is described as “high grade” because the cells look very abnormal when examined under the microscope.

high grade dysplasia

Does high grade dysplasia mean cancer?

High grade dysplasia does not mean cancer but if left untreated it can turn into cancer over time.

What causes high grade dysplasia?

The cause of high grade dysplasia depends on where in the body the dysplasia is located. Specific causes include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (oropharynx, cervix, penis, and anal canal), smoking (oral cavity, larynx, esophagus), long-standing acid reflux disease (esophagus), helicobacter pylori infection (stomach), and dietary factors (colon).

Can the cells in high grade dysplasia spread to other parts of the body?

No. The abnormal cells in an area of high grade dysplasia are not able to metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.

Alternative names

In some parts of the body, other names are used to describe high grade dysplasia. These names include high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), intraepithelial neoplasia (IEN), and severe dysplasia.

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