Transformation zone

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
July 14, 2022

What is the transformation zone?

The transformation zone is a part of the cervix where the squamous cells that make up the ectocervix meet the glandular cells that make up the endocervix.

Normal cervix

Is the transformation zone normal?

Yes. The transformation zone is a normal part of the cervix.

Why is the transformation zone important?

The transformation zone is important because most pre-cancerous conditions, such as low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) and high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) as well as cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, start in this area, or zone, of the cervix. These conditions are almost always caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which infects cells in the transformation zone.

Why does my pathology report say the transformation zone was present?

This means that cells from the transformation zone were seen when the tissue was examined under the microscope. It is important for pathologists to see the transformation zone because some conditions, such as LSIL and HSIL, cannot be excluded in samples where the transformation zone is not sampled and examined.

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