Understanding Dysplasia in Cell Pathology

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23 Questions

What happens to individual cells in deep cell keratinization (dyskeratosis)?

They degenerate before reaching the tissue surface

What is the usual tendency when viewing dysplastic lesions?

To consider them premalignant

What is the characteristic of fibro-osseous dysplasia regarding cellular abnormalities?

It shows no cellular abnormalities

How does dysplasia relate to carcinoma in situ?

Dysplastic change throughout epithelium but no invasive activity

When can dysplasia be reversed?

If the precipitating cause is removed

What is the main characteristic of hyperplasia in reactive hyperplasia of the liver?

Nonfunctional cells are increased

Which of the following conditions can lead to compensatory hyperplasia in the remaining kidney?

Loss of a kidney

In which scenario would polycythemia likely occur?

Cardiac failure leading to deficient oxygenation

Which type of hyperplasia is associated with keloid skin formations?

Reactive hyperplasia

What is the main feature of hypoplasia in an organ?

Developmental reduction in cell number

Which term describes a change in cell type from highly specialized to less specialized?


Which type of disorder of growth results in an absolute increase in the number of cells?


What distinguishes hyperplasia from hypertrophy?

Increased number of cells

Which type of hyperplasia is common in the glands of the breast during pregnancy?

Hormonal hyperplasia

What is a characteristic of inflammatory hyperplasia?

Proliferation of granulation cells

Which gland may undergo hyperplasia due to a relative oversecretion of estrogen with declining testicular androgen production?

Prostate gland

What is the main difference between metaplasia and hyperplasia?

Change in cell type

What term describes the loss of cellular differentiation, characteristic of malignant cells?


Which type of tissue differentiation is inappropriate to the site of origin and can lead to actively secreting gastric mucosal glands in the oesophagus?


Which microscopic feature is commonly associated with dysplasia in tissues?

Nuclear hyperchromatism

What happens to cardiac cells when they die from ischaemia according to the text?

They are replaced by fibrous cells

In which organ is dysplasia commonly seen along with metaplasia in smokers?

Respiratory tract

What distinguishes anaplasia from other forms of metaplasia according to the text?

Increased nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio

Study Notes

Disordered Growth

  • Disordered growth can be classified into five main types: hyperplasia, hypoplasia, metaplasia, heterotopia, and dysplasia


  • An absolute increase in the number of cells, resulting in increased tissue mass
  • Usually, there is no significant change in structure or disorder of function
  • Not to be confused with hypertrophy, which is an increase in cell size
  • Types of hyperplasia:
    • Hormonal (e.g., enlargement of glands in the breast at puberty, during pregnancy and lactation)
    • Inflammatory (e.g., proliferation of granulation cells in chronic inflammation)
    • Reactive and compensatory (e.g., nodular cirrhosis of the liver)
    • Unknown cause (e.g., hyperplasia of the gingivae in response to diphenylhydantoin)


  • A reduction in the number of cells in an organ
  • May be developmental or acquired
  • Seen in kidney or lung where one of the pair is small and non-functional (compensatory hyperplasia in the unaffected organ)
  • Aplasia is a reduction to zero cells (e.g., aplastic anaemia)
  • Agenesis is the failure of development of an organ or part of an organ (e.g., in liver, brain, teeth)


  • A change in cell type from highly specialized to less specialized
  • May be adaptive or protective
  • Examples:
    • Nodular cirrhosis of the liver
    • Fibro-osseous dysplasia (no cellular abnormalities, no tendency for malignant change)
    • Keloid skin formations (in response to surgical incisions, piercings, etc.)


  • Anomalous differentiation of tissue inappropriate to the site of origin
  • Examples:
    • Actively secreting gastric mucosal glands in the oesophagus
    • Ectopic pregnancy (fertilization of the ovum and development of the foetus outside of the uterus)


  • Disordered proliferation of a tissue
  • Affects epithelia, which are normally well-defined tissues
  • Loss of normal uniformity: change in size, shape, or organization
  • Seen in:
    • Uterine cervix
    • Respiratory tract (especially in smokers)
    • Gall bladder
    • Oral cavity
  • Microscopic features:
    • Nuclear hyperchromatism
    • Nuclear pleomorphism and increased nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio
    • Increased mitosis
    • Loss of polarity (especially in basal cells)

Learn about dysplasia in cell pathology, including deep cell keratinization, loss of differentiation, and intracellular adherence. Explore how dysplasia may be reversed if the precipitating cause is removed.

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