Adenocarcinoma In Situ (AIS): Five Years With HPV

Adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) of the cervix is a premalignant precursor to cervical adenocarcinoma. The usual interval between clinically detectable AIS and early invasion appears to be at least five years.

What is AIS?

AIS (Adenocarcinoma In Situ) is a pre-cancerous condition that involves abnormal changes in the cells lining the cervix. While AIS is less commonly associated with HPV (Human Papillomavirus) compared to squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), it is still important to understand the relationship between AIS and HPV.

AIS refers to the presence of abnormal glandular cells in the cervical tissue, indicating a pre-cancerous condition. Unlike squamous cells, which are flat and cover the outer surface of the cervix, glandular cells are found deeper within the cervix.

While AIS is less frequently associated with HPV compared to squamous lesions, HPV infection can still play a role in its development. High-risk HPV types, particularly HPV 16 and 18, are known to be linked to the development of AIS.

AIS is often diagnosed through cervical screening, such as a Pap smear or HPV test. Colposcopy, biopsy, and other diagnostic procedures may be performed for further evaluation.

AIS Treatment

Monitoring: AIS is closely monitored to assess the progression of the lesion. Regular follow-up exams, including colposcopy and biopsies, may be recommended.

Treatment: Treatment options for AIS may involve procedures to remove or destroy abnormal cells. These can include:

  • conization (removal of a cone-shaped piece of tissue) or
  • hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).


Adenocarcinoma In Situ (AIS) and Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grade 3 (CIN3) are both precancerous conditions involving abnormal cellular changes in the cervix. However, they differ in terms of the types of cells affected and their location within the cervical tissue.

Adenocarcinoma In Situ (AIS):

  • AIS involves glandular cells: AIS affects the glandular cells that line the cervical canal. Glandular cells are found deeper within the cervix and are responsible for producing mucus.
  • Glandular Cells Location: AIS occurs within the glandular tissue of the cervix, often higher up in the cervical canal. It does not involve the squamous epithelial cells on the outer surface of the cervix.
  • HPV Association: AIS is commonly associated with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly HPV 16 and 18.

Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grade 3 (CIN3):

  • CIN3 involves squamous cells: CIN3 affects the squamous epithelial cells that cover the outer surface of the cervix. These cells are flat and form the majority of the cervical tissue.
  • Squamous Epithelial Cells Location: CIN3 occurs in the outer layer of the cervix, involving the squamous epithelial cells. It does not typically affect the glandular cells deeper within the cervical canal.
  • HPV Association: Similar to AIS, CIN3 is also strongly associated with high-risk types of HPV, with HPV 16 and 18 being commonly implicated.

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