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Mature cervical metaplasia. Light Micrograph of a section through the human cervix showing cells displaying mature squamous metaplasia. Epithelial cells in various stages of maturity are seen surrounded by black-stained white blood cells. Immature cells are small, uniform & dark stained, mature cells are larger and pink stained. Metaplastic epithelium is a protective response that occurs where the endocervical canal (which links the vagina to the womb) is exposed to the acidic vaginal environment. Metaplastic squamous epithelium can be unstable & a potential site for cancer. Papanicolaou stain. Magnification: x400 at 35mm size.
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