Low grade dysplasia

The Pathology Dictionary Team
February 21, 2023

What is low grade dysplasia?

Low grade dysplasia is an abnormal pattern of growth that can turn into cancer over time. This change is described as “low grade” because the abnormal cells look like normal, healthy cells when examined under the microscope.

low grade dysplasia

Does low grade dysplasia mean cancer?

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

What causes low grade dysplasia?

The cause of low 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 low grade dysplasia spread to other parts of the body?

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

Other names for low grade dysplasia

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

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