Squamous mucosa

March 8, 2023

Squamous mucosa is a thin layer of tissue that covers the inside surface of the mouth, esophagus, vagina, cervix, and anal canal. It is also found in the respiratory tract, where it lines the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi. Squamous mucosa is designed to protect the tissue below from physical injury and infection.

Squamous mucosa is made up of 2 to 3 layers of tissue, depending on the location in the body. The top layer is made up of specialized squamous cells that connect together to form a barrier called the epithelium. Below the epithelium is a thin layer of tissue called lamina propria made up of connective tissue and blood vessels. In some areas of the body, a thin layer of muscle called the muscularis mucosae sits just below the lamina propria.

The most common type of cancer to arise from squamous mucosa is called squamous cell carcinoma. It is made up of abnormal squamous cells normally found in the epithelium. Common sites for this type of cancer include the mouth, oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, cervix, and lungs.

What does it mean if the squamous mucosa is described as reactive?

Reactive squamous mucosa means that the cells in the mucosa have been injured and look abnormal when examined under the microscope. The injury can be caused by infection, physical stress, or exposure to chemicals or medications. Reactive does not mean cancer.

About this article

This article was written by doctors to help you read and understand your pathology report. Contact us if you have questions about this article or your pathology report. For a complete introduction to your pathology report, read this article.

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