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Light micrograph of a biopsy section through the human cervix revealing moderate-severe dysplasia (CIN 2-3). The cervix is lined by a stratified squamous epithelium. Normally, all cell division is confined to the basal epithelial layer (near right). As a cell matures & rises up the layers, its cytoplasm expands & nucleus shrinks in size - a normal superficial cell is flat, with a small nucleus & a large cytoplasm. In moderate-severe dysplasia the gradual stratification in cell maturation seen in normal epithelium is absent: dysplastic (abnormal) cells extend throughout a large proportion of the thickness of the epithelium.
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