Presumed precursors of adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix were investigated with specific techniques to identify human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA. The presence of HPV DNA in 36 lesions of glandular dysplasia and 16 lesions of microglandular hyperplasia of the uterine cervix was studied by in situ hybridization using 3H-labeled HPV 16 and HPV 18 DNA probes. Only two of 36 lesions (6%) of glandular dysplasia contained HPV 18 DNA, although 64% of coexisting adenocarcinoma in situ, microinvasive adenocarcinoma, and cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia III lesions contained HPV 18 and/or HPV 16 DNA. Two lesions of HPV 18 DNA-positive glandular dysplasia coexisted with adenocarcinoma in situ that contained the same types of HPV DNA. None of the microglandular hyperplasia lesions contained HPV 16 DNA or HPV 18 DNA. These results suggest that, if HPV infection is an initial step toward carcinogenesis, it is unlikely that glandular dysplasia and microglandular hyperplasia are precursor lesions of adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix. A large proportion of glandular dysplasia may represent reactive lesions of endocervical columnar epithelium. Two lesions of HPV 18 DNA-positive glandular dysplasia may represent well-differentiated components of adenocarcinoma in situ of the uterine cervix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology