Robbins pathology notes pdf


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Micrograph of a gastro-esophageal junction with pancreatic acinar metaplasia. The change from one type of cell to another may be part of a normal maturation process, or caused by some sort of abnormal stimulus. In simplistic terms, it is as if the original cells are not robust enough to withstand their environment, so they transform into another cell type better suited to their environment. If the stimulus causing metaplasia is removed or ceases, tissues return to their normal pattern of differentiation.

Metaplasia is not synonymous with dysplasia, and is not considered to be an actual cancer. It is also contrasted with heteroplasia, which is the spontaneous abnormal growth of cytologic and histologic elements.