Histologic Features of Hysterectomy Specimens from Female-Male Transgender Individuals

Mahmoud A. Khalifa, Aimi Toyama, Molly E. Klein, Victor Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Histologic changes in the female genital tract after prolonged androgen stimulation have been described in the past. However, these changes have not been systematically addressed in hysterectomy specimens from subjects undergoing surgical gender-reassignment, typically after treatment with exogenous androgens. The current study aims to provide practicing pathologists with a list of expected histologic features in hysterectomy specimens from female-male transgender individuals. Twenty-seven hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy specimens were identified from our Laboratory Information System. Slides were retrieved and reviewed for features associated with androgen exposure. Clinical information for the 27 subjects (20-46 yr old, mean=29 yr) was obtained from the electronic medical records. Twenty-four subjects had received androgen 19 mo to 24 yr preoperatively. Focal decidua-like endometrial stromal change with glandular paucity was present in 16/27 (59%) uteri associated with predominantly inactive endometrial glands. Ectocervical or transformation zone transitional cell metaplasia was present in 17/27 (63%) subjects. Bilateral cystic follicles were present in all 23 subjects who underwent bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and had preoperative androgen exposure. In these ovaries, follicular density appeared higher than that expected for age with counts ranging from 1.5 to 32.5 follicles/mm (average=10.7 follicles/mm). Predominantly inactive, sparse endometrial glands with focal decidua-like stromal change, cervical transitional cell metaplasia, bilateral cystic follicles and higher follicular density are observed in the majority of specimens from female-male transgender individuals. These histologic changes correlate with prolonged preoperative androgen administration. The significance of these findings relies on recognizing the spectrum of androgen-related histologic alterations and not confusing transitional cell metaplasia with cervical dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-527
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Androgen exposure
  • Cervical transitional cell metaplasia
  • Female-male transgender individuals
  • Primordial follicles density
  • Transgender pathology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study


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