This article covers dysplasia, a pre-cancerous change in cells and tissues. For information about hip dysplasia, a clinical condition affecting the hip joint, please see the article on Hip dysplasia.
Dysplasia (from Greek, roughly: "bad form") is a term used in pathology to refer to an abnormality in maturation of cells within a tissue. This generally consists of an expansion of immature cells, with a corresponding decrease in the number and location of mature cells. Dysplasia is often indicative of an early neoplastic process. The term dysplasia is typically used when the cellular abnormality is restricted to the originating tissue, as in the case of an early, in-situ neoplasm. For example, epithelial dysplasia of the cervix (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia - a disorder commonly detected by an abnormal pap smear) consists of an increased population of immature (basal-like) cells which are restricted to the mucosal surface, and have not invaded through the basement membrane to th