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Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Published on Aug 05, 2022   -  4 min read


Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion is a precancerous condition in which cervical cells show mild abnormalities. The below article details this lesion.


What Is Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion?

Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), also called mild dysplasia, is an area of abnormal cells forming on the cervix's surface. The condition can also affect the vagina and vulva, anus, penis, or back of the throat. This condition may develop in both women and men. It is commonly detected through a routine Pap test that helps detect cervical cancers, precancers, and other cervical cell abnormalities. The cells have only a few abnormal characteristics in these low-grade lesions but are somewhat similar to the normal cells. So instead, these lesions are precancers; they have the potential to become cancer and spread to other tissues.

What Causes Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion?

LSIL typically develops after the specialized squamous cells on the surface of the cervix get infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Infected cells in the lesion show an abnormal pattern of development. Although this condition is considered a non-cancerous disease, there may be a small risk of turning into cancer called squamous cell carcinoma over time. However, for most people with LSIL, the immune system may remove the infected cells, and the tissue will return to normal. Although LSIL is not contagious, human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted infection that can spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

What Are the Symptoms of Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions?

LSIL usually does not have any symptoms. Instead, most people find out they have it after undergoing a Pap test. For that reason, regular screenings are essential for the early diagnosis and treatment of LSIL cases. Some people may experience the following symptoms in their genitals, including:

Who is at Risk for Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions?

People are at an increased risk of developing LSIL if:

What Happens After Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Is Discovered on Pap Test?

After the diagnosis of LSIL in pap test, the healthcare professional base the treatment recommendations on certain factors like age, the number of abnormal Pap tests, and other cervical cancer risk factors, including:

How Are Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions Treated?

If human papillomavirus does not go away on its own and Pap tests continue to show abnormal results (LSIL), it is necessary to remove abnormal cells. The health care professionals may recommend the following treatments, including:

Excisional Surgery:

Excisional surgery is a method of removing abnormal cells. In this procedure, cervical tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for further analysis. Excisional surgery is done in two ways:

Ablative Treatment:

Ablative treatment is another treatment the doctor may recommend. The ablative treatment destroys the abnormal tissue and is performed in two ways:

What Is the Prognosis or Outlook for People With Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion?

LSIL often clears up on its own or can be effectively treated with available treatments to help prevent the development of cervical cancer. However, some people may experience discomfort for a few days and can expect some discharge for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the procedure. Although LSIL is not cancer, regular follow-up is needed. Pap screenings are essential for identifying and treating abnormal cells before they become cancerous.

How Are Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions Prevented?

The best way to prevent low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions is by getting the HPV vaccine. Girls and boys aged 9 to 14 can get the HPV vaccine series, two or three shots spaced two to 12 months apart. People who get the vaccine when they are older need three doses between ages 15 and 45. If older than 46, consult a healthcare professional before getting the HPV vaccine. Other ways to reduce the risk of HPV include:


Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions are precancerous conditions caused by HPV infections characterized by mild abnormalities in cervical cells. Usually, most LSILs resolve on their own without treatment, but others need immediate treatment to remove the abnormal tissue. Although LSIL is not cancer, regular follow-up is necessary. Pap screenings are essential for identifying and treating abnormal cells before they become cancerous.


Last reviewed at:
05 Aug 2022  -  4 min read




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