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Canal of the cervix

Canal of the cervix
Posterior half of uterus and upper part of vagina.
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Latin canalis cervicis uteri
Gray's p.1260
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Anatomical terminology

In the anatomy of the female reproductive system, the canal of the cervix (also called the endocervical canal, cervical canal, cervical canal of uterus, or the cavity of cervix) is the spindle-shaped, flattened canal of the cervix, the neck of the uterus.

It communicates with the uterine cavity via the internal orifice of the uterus, and with the vagina via the external orifice.

The wall of the canal presents an anterior and a posterior longitudinal ridge, from each of which proceed a number of small oblique columns, the palmate folds, giving the appearance of branches from the stem of a tree; to this arrangement the name arbor vitæ uteri is applied.

The folds on the two walls are not exactly opposed, but fit between one another so as to close the cervical canal.


File:Adenocarcinoma on pap test 1.jpg
Micrograph of an adenocarcinoma that arose from the endocervical mucosa. Pap stain.

The endocervical mucosa is a site from which adenocarcinoma can arise. Endocervical adenocarcinoma, like cervical cancer (squamous cell carcinoma), often arises in the milieu of human papilloma virus infection.[1]

As most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas, differentiation of endocervical adenocarcinoma and endometrial adenocarcinomas is required, as the treatment differs. Immunohistochemical staining is often helpful in this regard, endocervical adenocarcinomas are typically CEA and p16 positive and estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and vimentin negative.

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Yeh, IT.; LiVolsi, VA.; Noumoff, JS. (Mar 1991). "Endocervical carcinoma.". Pathol Res Pract 187 (2-3): 129–44. PMID 2067992. doi:10.1016/S0344-0338(11)80763-6. 

External links

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