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Pseudoinvasion of benign squamous epithelium following cervical biopsy: a pseudoneoplastic phenomenon mimicking invasive squamous carcinoma
  1. David P Boyle,
  2. W Glenn McCluggage
  1. Department of Pathology, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Professor W Glenn McCluggage, Department of Pathology, Royal Group of Hospitals Trust, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BA, Northern Ireland; glenn.mccluggage{at}


Aims To describe an unusual and hitherto unreported pseudoneoplastic phenomenon that is characterised by the entrapment of benign squamous epithelium following cervical loop excision or punch biopsy and that may mimic invasive squamous carcinoma.

Methods and Results The authors report six cases in patients aged 25–45 years in whom benign squamous epithelium is incorporated within the cervical stroma as a result of the healing process following prior loop excision (four cases) or punch biopsy (two cases). The entrapped nests of squamous epithelium typically have a hypereosinophilic appearance and are associated with a granulation tissue-like and inflammatory stromal response and sometimes with retraction artefact mimicking lymphovascular permeation.

Conclusions The overall morphological appearances, especially in the context of a prior or current diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, may result in misdiagnosis as invasive squamous carcinoma. Pathologists should be aware of this pseudoneoplastic artefact so that an erroneous diagnosis of malignancy is not made.

  • Cervix
  • loop excision
  • artefact
  • squamous carcinoma
  • endometrium
  • ovary
  • uterus

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.